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Medjugorje: A Warning 

The Remnant Press 

Published by permission of the Author, 
May he rest in peace. 

















Note from the Web Master 

For some time now this web site has had to remove various links, including 2 Marian web 
rings because of the problem of Medjugorje enthusiasm. Recently a visitor requested 
information on Medjugorje, the facts. So we are putting up this little directory as a sub- 
directory of Mary's Index. Although written during the last decade, since that time there has 
been nothing from the Vatican that would change the determinations as set forth in Michael 
Davies' work. 

Pauly Fongemie, March 28, 2005 


Since the Second Vatican Council there has been a grave crisis of authority within the 
Catholic Church. The ordinary faithful have not received the firm and unequivocal teaching 
and guidance from their ecclesiastical superiors to which they had become accustomed. 
Cardinal Ratzinger has noted the extent to which individual bishops have abdicated their 
authority to national episcopal conferences which, only too often, have been manipulated 
into propagating the opinions of so-called theological experts of dubious orthodoxy. Parish 
priests frequently abdicated their authority to parish councils, and Rome itself has 
sometimes appeared to speak with an uncertain voice. But certainty is what the faithful 
seek, and when they do not receive it from the Magisterium they will seek it elsewhere. 
Some have sought certainty in the charismatic movement which, if examined objectively, 
renders the Magisterium unnecessary, for what need is there of a teaching authority when 
each individual Christian can communicate directly with the Holy Ghost? 

Other Catholics have put their faith in one of the numerous apparitions which are allegedly 
taking place in many countries. Once again, if heavenly guidance can be communicated 
directly through the sect which is witnessing the alleged apparitions, then what need is 
there of a Magisterium? In the years following the Council a very clear pattern of behavior 
has emerged among supporters of these apparitions. It is a tendency to make belief in the 
authenticity of a particular apparition the criterion of orthodoxy. True Catholics believe in 
the apparitions, and the faith of those who do not is suspect in some way. Those drawn 
towards these apparitions tend to be conservative in outlook, the type of Catholic who 
might have been expected to defend the teaching of the Magisterium. Once such Catholics 
become "hooked" on an apparition all their efforts tend to be devoted to defending it and 
propagating it. They have thus been removed effectively from the battlefield for orthodoxy. 
There can be no doubt that spurious apparitions are one of Satan's most effective weapons 
in his war against the Mystical Body. The problem is, of course, to discern authentic from 
spurious apparitions. I certainly do not believe that any of the alleged apparitions taking 
place at present with the possible exception of Akita in Japan, possess a shred of 

I recollect very clearly a decade or so ago that I scandalized some very devout friends by 
maintaining that the alleged apparitions at Palmar de Troya in Spain were inspired by the 
devil. I was asked how I could make such a claim in view of the piety manifested there - 
all night vigils, heroic acts of penance, the Rosary, financial sacrifices of staggering 
proportions. I knew one devout and highly educated English Catholic who sold everything 
he had and abandoned his profession to go and live there. Later, when Clemente, the self- 
styled seer, proclaimed himself to be Pope and "excommunicated" everyone who did not 
recognize him, this friend and others withdrew from Palmar in horror and admitted that 
they had been deceived. But the tragedy is that there are thousands who did not. Their faith 
had become identified with the authenticity of the Palmar sect. Satan had amputated them 
from the Mystical Body. 

How can one reconcile the devotion that I have mentioned with diabolic inspiration? The 
answer should be self-evident. If a seer claiming to be inspired by Heaven denied the 
doctrine of the Trinity or advocated free love he would hardly be likely to deceive faithful 
Catholics. Satan will obviously seek to introduce error and separate the faithful from the 
Church under a veneer of piety. 


Several years ago I was visited by some good friends with a booklet in Croatian about 
some apparitions allegedly taking place at Medjugorje in Yugoslavia. They wished my 
wife, who is Croatian, to translate it. When I had been given a resume of the alleged 
messages I advised my wife not to waste a second of her time translating them as, in my 
opinion, they did not possess a vestige of credibility. I am glad to say that these friends 
now share my opinion. Since that time the alleged apparitions at Medjugorje have attracted 
more attention and more enthusiasm almost daily, and millions of Catholics now flock 
there from throughout the world. The initial opposition of the then communist government 
of Yugoslavia was transformed into an attitude of enthusiastic co-operation once it became 
clear that pilgrimages to Medjugorje provided an extremely lucrative source of foreign 

It is obvious that the bishops and clergy of Yugoslavia have every reason to be predisposed 
in favor of Medjugorje. If the visions were authentic they would be a tremendous asset to 
the Church in a country with so many atheists and adherents of non-Catholic religions. Not 
only would the income from the pilgrimages benefit their poor country, but it would 
provide badly needed financial help for the Church. However, as Bishop Zanic explains 
later, only one of the Yugoslav bishops (Archbishop Franic of Split) has expressed belief in 
the apparitions, and not one of the hundred diocesan clergy in Hercegovina accepts them as 
authentic. Only two members of the 15 man Commission which examined the events at 
Medjugorje, accepted the authenticity of the visions (and they were both Franciscans). The 
Franciscans themselves are divided on the matter, but some of the most influential among 
them support the position of Bishop Zanic. Those who support the authenticity of the 
alleged apparitions have been quite unable to suggest any credible ulterior motive to 
explain the rejection of their authenticity by the clergy of every rank in Yugoslavia outside 
the Franciscan Order. 

My object in this study is simply to show that there is a case against the authenticity of the 
Medjugorje apparitions, a viewpoint which has been kept from most Catholics due to the 
vast publicity campaign in favor of authenticity conducted in the mainstream Catholic 
media (which derives considerable financial benefits from Medjugorje advertising). It is 
not without significance that the Liberal Catholic journals which have not shown the least 
interest in the Fatima message are enthusiastic in their support of Medjugorje. I know that 
it was the view of the late Hamish Fraser that Medjugorje was a means being utilized by 
Satan to subvert the message of Fatima. [Emphasis added, here and below.] 

Before providing documentation to prove the falsity of the alleged apparitions I will give 
just two examples of the degree of credibility which should be given to the self-styled 

"seers" of Medjugorje. The "seers" and their Franciscan manipulators have consistently 
maintained that during their "ecstasies" they are immobile and without communication with 
the outside world. A French journalist wished to test this claim, and while one "seer", 
Vicka, purported to be in ecstasy, he made a stabbing movement towards her eyes with his 
fingers. Vicka gave a start and threw her head backwards. Fortunately, the entire incident 
was filmed. The girl left the room and returned a few minutes later with one of her 
charismatic mentors, an expelled Franciscan. She claimed that at the moment the journalist 
made the movement she was witnessing an apparition of the Virgin Mary with the Child 
Jesus in her arms, and the Child slipped. "I made a movement to stop Flim from falling. 
That's all." 

There could hardly be a more evident case of outright lying. It is inconceivable that during 
an apparition of Our Lady with the Child Jesus, the Child could possibly slip. If, per 
impossible, this did happen, it is stretching coincidence beyond the bounds of credibility to 
be asked to believe that it happened at the precise moment the journalist made the 
movement towards Vicka' s eyes, and, finally, if she had been speaking the truth she would 
have moved forwards towards the apparition and not backwards! 

The second incident is documented in the 1990 statement by Mgr. Zanic which is printed in 
full in Sections 5-7. It concerns a Franciscan priest, Father Ivica Vego, who was dispensed 
from his vows and expelled from the Franciscan Order by a direct command of Pope John 
Paul II as a result of his immoral conduct, which involved the seduction of a nun, Sister 
Leopolda. When she became pregnant they both left the religious life and began to live 
together near Medjugorje where their child was born. They now have two children. But 
prior to this he refused to accept his expulsion and continued to celebrate Mass, administer 
the Sacraments, and pass the time with his mistress. Why mention such a distasteful event? 
The reason is that the "seers" claimed that Our Lady appeared to them on thirteen occasions 
stating that Father Vego was innocent, that he was as entitled to celebrate Mass as any 
other priest, and that the bishop was harsh! Any reader with a true sense of being a 
Catholic, a sensus catholicus, will need to read no further to realize the full extent of the 
mendacity of the self-styled "seers", a mendacity which cannot be excused simply on the 
grounds that they have been manipulated by their Franciscan mentors. What credibility can 
be given to those who claim that the Mother of God told them repeatedly that an immoral 
priest, expelled from his order on the instructions of the Holy Father himself, is innocent, 
and that the Bishop who had taken the only course open to him, was the guilty party! And 
how does a so-called reputable theologian, such as Father Rene Laurentin. who has made a 
fortune from books on Medjugorje react when confronted with such facts? Mgr. Zanic 
gives us the answer. He begged the Bishop not to publish details of the incident. Mgr. 
Zanic tells us that this has been Laurentin's consistent position, to hide the truth and defend 
falsehood. Despite the fact that the truth about Ivica Vego can no longer be denied, his 
prayer book is still sold in Medjugorje and beyond in hundreds of thousands of copies! 

One might add, almost as an afterthought, that if Our Lady had truly appeared at 
Medjugorje on about 26,000 occasions by the end of 1993, a claim which in itself defies 
credibility, she did not bother to warn the Croatian people of the coming onslaught, which 
they would have to undergo from fanatically anti-Catholic Serbia. 

Documentation [page numbers refer to original booklet by Davies] 

1. MEDJUGORJE: The Other Side of the Coin, Geoffrey Lawman, p. 7 

2. 1987 Communique of the Yugoslav Bishops Concerning the Facts of Medjugorje, p. 15 

3. Declaration of the Bishop of Mostar Concerning Medjugorje Medjugorje, 15 July 1987, 

P- 17 

4. An Extract From the Letter of the Bishop of Mostar to Mariya Davies Thanking Her for 
Her Translation, p. 21 

5. Visions in Alabama, Excerptedfrom "Letter from London", The Remnant, 31 March 
1989, p. 22 

6. Marija Pavlovic Contradicts Herself, p. 24 

7. The Truth About Medjugorje - A Statement by Mgr. Zanic Published in 1990, p. 27 

8. Irish Bishops' Conference Statement of 13 June 1990, p. 49 

9. "Bishops 'leaked' Ruling on Yugoslav Shrine, p. 49 

10. "Rome Studies New Medjugorje Report", p. 51 

11. The Medjugorje Industry, p. 51 

12. A New Bishop of Mostar, p. 58 

13. Further Information, p. 60 


by Geoffrey Lawman Co-founder of Approaches; Co-editor of Apropos; 
and Editor of Fatal Star, the autobiography of Hamish Fraser. 

We are hearing more and more about Medjugorje, the Yugoslavian village where, it is said, 
Our Lady has been appearing almost daily to some or all of six young visionaries ever 
since 1981. The natural question, as with all such claimed apparitions, is "Are they 
authentic?" To this there are three possible answers: "Yes," "No," and "We'd better wait for 
the Church's verdict." The third is clearly the wisest answer for any Catholic who 
recognizes the Church's teaching authority and the limitations of his own private judgment. 
Yet equally it is part of our tradition to revere Our Lady in the context of her numerous 
authenticated apparitions, and, historically speaking, popular devotion to any new 
apparition has often spread and become as it were "established" well before the Church 
gave its final approval. 

We cannot therefore object to devotees of Medjugorje trying to enlist our support for 
phenomena which they strongly believe to be of God, provided their publicity is balanced 
and honest and they are ready to leave the last word to the Teaching Church. But they, for 
their part, must be equally ready to face the questions of other Catholics, possibly as 
devoted to Our Lady as themselves, but who have serious doubts about the events in 

A New Type of Apparition? 

One reason for questioning the events at Medjugorje is that they are so strikingly unlike all 
previous Marian apparitions. Which other apparitions have gone on almost daily for over 

12 years and are still going on? Which others were announced a month in advance (at a 
charismatic congress in Rome)? Which others have been so well publicized internationally 
as to attract (it is claimed) 5 million pilgrims to date? These 3 features may not in 
themselves constitute arguments against the authenticity of the alleged apparitions (though 
one may well wonder what Our Lady could have found to say that needed some 26,000 
appearances!), but it is clear that Medjugorje is following a pattern quite different from that 
of earlier (and approved) apparitions - Lourdes, La Salette, Pontmain, Fatima or Beauraing, 
for example. 

A 'Holiness Explosion' 

Supporters point to the devotional and spiritual impact of the occurrences on both villagers 
and pilgrims, and it is true that the apparitions have repeatedly urged greater assiduity in 
prayer and fasting and regular confession, together with Bible reading, Eucharistic 
devotions, etc., and that these recommendations have been enthusiastically followed. 
However welcome this is, we should remember that it is not in itself any guarantee of 
holiness or even of orthodoxy, let alone evidence that the apparitions are authentic. The 
Church's history shows numerous cases of heretical groups noteworthy for intense 
devotion, prayer and fasting (the Fraticelli of the 13th century, for example). One may 
perhaps question the prudence of the "Lady's" subsequent extension of fasting, even partial, 
from 1 to 2 days per week (for growing teenagers!) and her unrealistic recommendation of 
up to 3 hours of prayer daily. And the frequent practice of "laying on of hands" and "the 
baptism of the Spirit" suggests that the "holiness explosion" claimed for Medjugorje is as 
much charismatic as Catholic. 

Graver Reasons For Doubt 

Three further, and far more serious, characteristics of the Medjugorje phenomenon 
-disobedience, lying and false doctrine - form the essential grounds for the view that Our 
Lady has not, and could not have, appeared there at all. 

Disobedience: The diocesan bishop, Msgr. Zanic of Mostar, has on several occasions given 
legitimate instructions to the Franciscan priests active in Medjugorje parish, which they 
have consistently disobeyed. He has ordered certain priests to leave the parish, and they 
have stayed. He has asked that the occurrences should not be publicized, and that 

should not be organized or welcomed (until his canonical enquiry was complete). These 
orders have been ignored. But the most flagrant and (to my mind) conclusive case is that 
involving Fathers Prusina and Vego, two Franciscans being disciplined by their superiors 
(and who have since been expelled from the Order). Bishop Zanic' had ordered them to 
leave the parish. "Our Lady", questioned by the "visionaries", is stated to have said on two 
occasions (19. 12.81 and 20. 1 .82) that the bishop was "in the wrong" and that the 
Franciscans "should stay put"! "Our Lady" is thus shown as inciting disobedience to a 
lawful order of a bishop. 

Lying: I can understand the indignation this word will cause to convinced Medjugorjists. 

Yet I honestly do not see how otherwise to describe certain behavior on the part of the 
visionaries Ivan and Vicka and of Fr. Vlasic: Vicka's alternate denials and admissions that 
she was keeping a day-to-day chronicle of the events (and her concealment of large 
sections of it from the bishop's commission); the unbelievable perjury of Fr. Vlasic, 
swearing on the cross in the bishop's presence that he knew nothing of Vicka's diary 
(though he had earlier supplied extracts of that very diary to Fr. Grafenauer); young Ivan's 
"message" regarding the great sign to come "in the sixth month", written and signed by him 
and lodged in sealed envelopes with the canonical commission, but which he retracted 
nearly 3 years later when the "messages" were opened and shown to be invalid. Ivan, by 
then twenty years old, agreed that the "Lady" had not objected when he wrote the 
"message" originally, conveniently delaying her admonition for 3 years until the day before 
he admitted his "mistake"! Only lack of space dissuades me from continuing this distasteful 
and saddening list. A whole study could be devoted to the subject, particularly if one 
includes the suppressiones veri and suggestiones falsi purveyed by Medjugorje's chief 
propagandists, Frs. Laurentin, Bugalo, and Co. 

False Doctrine: Properly doctrinal statements are rare among the interminable reported 
words of the "Lady", but a single example of a doctrinal falsity ought to be enough to 
discredit any apparition. Here are two examples, both dating from 1983. In January, 
Mirjana told Fr. Vlasic how "Mary" was distressed by the lack of unity between Catholics, 
Orthodox and Muslims, since there was only one God: "You are not a believer if you do 
not respect the other religions, Muslim and Serbian (i.e. Orthodox). You are not Christians 
if you do not respect them." [This is false doctrine: we owe proper respect to non-believers, 
but none at all to their false religion; this would be a betrayal of Christ and His Church.] 
Even Fr. Vlasic was taken aback by this, but to his further questions -Mrjana could only 
reply by repeating herself: ". . . lack of unity among the religions. You must respect each 
person's religion," adding "Keep your own for yourselves and your children." This Masonic 
syncretism in a supernatural message is quite inadmissible; it rules out the missionary 
charity whereby we try to win our neighbors over to Our Lord. 

The second example is from April 1983. "Our Lady" is supposed to have dictated to Helena 
(a charismatic 'mystic', aged 10 or 1 1 years, who does not "see" the visions but hears what 
is said) a prayer of consecration to her Immaculate Heart. Bear in mind that these words are 
of the "Lady's" composition, but are intended to be addressed to her. In them we find the 

1 . . . . give me the grace to love all men as you loved Jesus Christ . . . 

2. . . . give me the grace to be merciful towards you . . . 

3 ... if, by chance, I should lose your grace, I ask you to restore it to me. 

To love all men . . . yes, God said we may all achieve that height of charily. But to love 
them as Mary loved Jesus (her God, King and Savior as well as Son), as in petition 1, is 
impossible and scandalous; it amounts to making gods out of our fellow-creatures. Petition 
2 is just stupid, not to say insolent; she who is: "full of grace," the Queen of Heaven, has no 
need of our mercy. Of petition 3 one could at least object that grace is never lost by chance, 
but only through sin. The exercise as a whole is not impressive; whatever "Spirit" inspired 

it was clearly not the Holy Ghost. 

Other Reasons for Doubt 

A fuller critique of Medjugorje would go into other doubtful aspects which I can only 
mention in passing: the unedifying expatiation of "the Lady" by the Franciscans in their 
dispute with the bishop over the allocation of parishes; the pretentious pseudo-science 
deployed to authenticate the "ecstasies" of the "visionaries" (including the use of an 
electroscope to measure the intensity of "spiritual energy" developed during 
"apparitions"!); the rather suspect discrepancies in the testimonies as to what actually 

during the "miracle of the sun" of August 1981; the sentimental banality of so much of the 
interminable stream of oracles uttered by the "Lady", and the unlikely vulgarity that has 
marked some of the "apparitions" (outbursts of laughter, "Our Lady" touched, and even 
caressed by visionaries and pilgrims.) And Bishop Zanic has voiced his own suspicion that 
the "visions" are less likely to be hallucinations than well-rehearsed play-acting. Such a 
suggestion is bound to enrage supporters of Medjugorje; the fact remains that if the ever- 
present local Franciscans had left the young people alone and the world charismfitic 
movement had followed suit -in other words, if the bishop had been obeyed - the whole 
question of authenticity could have been resolved long back. 

Misleading Publicity 

There is one aspect of Medjugorje which I find particularly unsatisfactory; I refer to some 
of the material put out by the London Medjugorje Centre. It would be too much to expect, 
for example, that their introductory leaflet, The Facts About Medjugorje, would enter into 
all the minutiae of such a controversial affair, but even in such a short document one would 
at least have expected a more balanced account than this - one which was just to Bishop 
Zanic, and which showed some awareness of the doubts raised by the apparitions. One is 
surprised to find no mention in it of such important issues as disobedience, lying and 
unacceptable doctrine, even if only to refute them. 

Here are some of the facts that The Facts About Medjugorje does not choose to tell us: 

- that the diocesan canonical commission of enquiry has found (by 1 1 voices to 4) that the 
apparitions are not authentic. 

- that Bishop Zanic is speaking as the responsible bishop of the diocese (and therefore in 
somewhat more than "a private capacity") when he dismisses the apparitions as not 

[See text of his July 25 sermon at Medjugorje.] 

- that if Rome and the Yugoslav Bishops' Conference have put the findings of his 
canonical enquiry into "cold storage", the most likely explanation, to any objective 
observer, is the enormous influence of the international propaganda campaign orchestrated 
by a pro-Medjugorje pressure-group. 

- that the local Franciscans "counseling" the "visionaries" are virtually all connected with 
the charismatic renewal movement (i.e. a sect of Protestant, "pentecostalist" inspiration, 

busy "colonizing" the Church since 1967). The same is true of the 'leading theologians' 
cited by the leaflet: Laurentin, Urs von Balthasar, and Faricy are all avowed charismatics. 
As for the "several other Yugoslav bishops" who, the leaflet claims, "fully accept 
Medjugorje as a precious gift from God," the only name that readily comes to mind is that 
of Archbishop Franic of Split, an enthusiastic charismatic; the others, even the initially 
favorable Cardinal Kuharic of Zagreb, seem now to have adopted a waiting posture. Why 
did the London Medjugorje Centre feel it necessary to conceal this heavy charismatic 

Two other statements in this leaflet call, I feel, for comment. Firstly: "The Holy See usually 
waits at least until apparitions are over before making any pronouncement." True . . . but 
has it ever before been faced with apparitions that continue for 12 years and show no sign 
of stopping? What better way of putting off any definitive verdict until these "apparitions" 
achieve a sort of de facto respectability through their sheer indefmite continuance? 

And secondly: "Unless and until the Church condemns Medjugorje ... we enjoy the right 
to have as much to do with it as we like." Even if its messages clash with Catholic teaching 
(as I have tried to show above)? Even if they incite priests and visionaries to reject the 
Church's proper authority? 

No, the leaflet, The Facts About Medjugorje presents in my view a most unsatisfactory and 
one-sided account, which cannot help but mislead inquirers who have no access to the 
fuller picture. One would like to excuse this as the result of enthusiastic devotion and 
inadequate research - pray God this is so - but the fact remains that, objectively, it is a 
travesty of the truth in important respects, and as such should be withdrawn. 

The Threat To The Church 

Some readers may well be surprised at the severity of my criticism. To them, the word 
"Medjugorje" conjures up Our Blessed Lady, humble and hopeful pilgrimages, all that is 
best in Marian devotion and spirituality. I assure such readers that I could have attacked 
much harder and adduced even more evidence of the negative aspects of Medjugorje. But 
what I have written above is already sufficient to support my conviction that it is a 
dangerous and un-Catholic thing. 

It divides Christians - those who accept its pseudo-spiritual humbug from those who insist 
on a sterner, purer spirituality - even to the point of driving a wedge between fellow- 
bishops: on the one side Msgrs. Franic and Ianucci, on the other Msgr. Zanic. 

It devalues and discredits the cult of Mary, and thus robs modern Catholicism of its finest 
spiritual flower. How do we expect Marian devotion to survive a "Lady" of interminable 
verbosity who submits to indiscriminate "patting", incites her hearers to disobedience; and 
even stages a pantomime "transformation-scene" between herself and Satan? An earlier 
generation of Catholics would have blown this absurdity away in a gust of Chestertonian 
laughter, but we seem to have lost, our sense of the ridiculous in the last 20 years. 

And, with the cult of Mary, Medjugorje weakens the message of Fatima, with its cardinal 
insistence on the conversion of Russia and of Communists as the prerequisite for any peace 
and progress. Medjugorje talks airily of peace, but ignores the very precise 
recommendations of Our Lady of Fatima and the disastrous consequences that will follow 
if these are not complied with. 

And, with the cult of Mary, Medjugorje weakens authority in the Church, by its resistance 
to the legitimate authority of its own bishop, by its partisan espousal of the cause of the 
dissident Franciscans in their quarrel with the diocese, It could even be argued that the long 
duration of the phenomenon constitutes an incipient "alternative magisterium", in the sense 
that we shall have much less need of hierarchies, a Teaching Church for our guidance if 
"Our Lady" is to appear daily to give us our instructions direct from Heaven ... a 
disquieting prospect for all our bishops and for the Holy See itself. 

Here I must rest my case, reminding readers that in presenting arguments against the 
Medjugorje apparitions I am merely availing myself of the same right as that claimed by its 
supporters when recommending it. Both they and I are speaking in our private capacities. 
As is customary and proper in these cases, I willingly give the assurance that I do not 
intend hereby to anticipate the Church's final verdict in any way. I merely hold the opinion, 
again in my private capacity, that the most probable conclusion is that the matter of that 
verdict exists already, in the shape of the findings of Bishop Zanic's commission, filed 
away in the offices of the Yugoslav Bishops' Conference and the Vatican, and will be re- 
worded and promulgated when the Church decides that the right moment has come. 


Verbatim from L'Osservatore Romano, English Edition, 23rd February 1987. 

We publish below the text of a communique published in the Official Bulletin of the 
Diocese of Zagreb, 1, 1987, p. 35, signed by His Eminence Cardinal Franjo Kuharic, 
President of the Yugoslav Episcopal Conference, and Most Rev. Pavao Zanic, Bishop of 
Mostar-Duvno, concerning the facts of Medjugorje. 

In conformity with the canonical norms concerning the discernment of alleged apparitions 
and private revelations, the diocesan commission instituted for this purpose by the Bishop 
of Mostar, Ordinary of the place, has conducted an inquiry into the events of Medjugorje. 

In the course of the investigation it emerged that the events went far beyond the diocese in 
question. Consequently, on the basis of the above-mentioned norms it seemed fitting to 
continue the investigation on the level of the Episcopal Conference with the institution of a 
new Commission for that purpose. 

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith was informed. It expressed appreciation for 
the work carried out under the responsibility of the local ordinary, and it encouraged the 
continuance of the work at the national episcopal level. 

The Episcopal Conference, therefore, is establishing a commission to continue the 
investigation of the events at Medjugorje. While awaiting the results of the commission's 
investigation and the Church's judgment, pastors and faithful should observe an attitude of 
prudence customary in such situations. 

Therefore it is not permissible to organize pilgrimages and other manifestations motivated 
by the supernatural character attributed to the facts of Medjugorje. 

Legitimate devotion to Our Lady, recommended by the Church, must conform to the 
directives of the Magisterium and especially those contained in the Apostolic Exhortation 
Mariali Cultus of 2 February 1974 (cf AAS, 66,1974, pp. 113-168). 

Zagreb 29th January 1987 

+ Pavao Zanic + Franjo Card. Kuharic, President of Yugoslav Bishop of Mostar Episcopal 


Declaration of the Bishop of Mostar Concerning Medjugorje 
15 July 1987 

After a version of this Declaration, translated into English from an Italian translation and 
not Croatian, had been circulating for some time, the Bishop asked Father Hugh Thwaites, 
an English Jesuit, to have an accurate translation made from the original Croatian. The task 
was undertaken by my wife Marija, who is Croatian, and my son Adrian, who has a 
Cambridge degree in Serbo-Croatian. 

Brothers and Sisters, 

Today in Medjugorje, on the occasion of administering the Sacrament of Confirmation, you 
are perhaps expecting me to say a few words concerning those events about which the 
whole world is talking. The Church must concern herself with them, and whatever is of 
concern to the Church, she refers to particular individuals and commissions. You know that 
at the moment this subject is being discussed by the Commission which was convened by 
the Conference of Yugoslav Bishops, because the Church cannot expose her credibility 
lightly before the twentieth-century world, which seeks to discredit and criticize her, so that 
it can say: "There you are - there is Jesus Christ for you." 

I can assure you that I prayed, studied, and kept silent for six years. Others have prayed 
too, and I thank them for it. In every Holy Mass that I have said Medjugorje was present in 
my intentions. In my daily Rosary I prayed to Our Lord, and to the Holy Ghost, to give me 
light from God. This has helped me to form a firm and certain conviction concerning 
everything that I have heard, read or experienced. 

There is a great deal of praying and fasting going on here (in Medjugorje), but it is in the 
belief that all the events are truly supernatural. However, to preach falsehood to the faithful 
concerning God, Jesus, and Our Lady - that merits the depths of Hell. 

In all my work, prayers, and studies I had one aim before me - to discern the truth. With 
this aim, as early as 1982, 1 formed a four member commission which later, with the help 
of some bishops and fathers provincial, I expanded to fifteen members drawn from nine 
theological centers from seven dioceses and four provinces, and two leading psychiatrists 
who were enabled to consult their colleagues. They worked for three years. The Holy See 
was informed about their work, and the events. This Commission of the Conference of 
Bishops of Yugoslavia continues to concern itself with the same problem. 

However, there were impatient people who went ahead before the judgment of the Church, 
and declared that miracles and supernatural events were taking place. They preached on 
private revelations from the altar, something which is not permitted until the Church 
declares such revelations to be authentic. That is why the various authorities demanded that 
pilgrimages should not be organized, that the Church's judgement should be awaited. This 
was first done on 24 March 1984 when the Commission of Medjugorje warned against it, 
but, unfortunately, without effect. Then, in October of the same year, the Conference of 
Bishops declared that there should be no more officially organized pilgrimages to 
Medjugorje. By "officially organized" is meant those who gather or come in a group. That 
had no effect either. Then the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in Rome, on 23 
May 1985, sent a letter to the Conference of Italian Bishops asking them to try to reduce 
the number of organized pilgrimages, and likewise to minimize all forms of propaganda. 
That too bore no fruit. Finally, when the second commission was formed Cardinal Franjo 
Kuharic and the Bishop of Mostar, in the name of the Conference of Bishops of 
Yugoslavia, declared publicly on 9 January 1987: "For this reason it is forbidden to 
organize pilgrimages or other manifestations motivated by the supernatural character 
attributed to the events in Medjugorje." This pronouncement came from the highest level in 
the Church and must not be ignored as if it were of no significance. 

Ever since the first news appeared concerning the unusual events in this diocese, the 
Bishop's Office followed the reports carefully, and collected everything that could serve in 
the search for truth. The Bishop allowed the seers and religious involved full freedom, and 
even defended them from political and press attacks. We taped all the conversations, 
collected chronicles and diaries, letters and documents. The Commission of our - 
professors of theology and physicians studied all this for three years. The three year work 
of the Commission concluded as follows: two members voted in favor of the truth 
andsupernatural nature of the apparitions. One member abstained from voting. One 
accepted that something had happened at the beginning. Eleven voted that there had been 
no apparitions - non 
constat de supernaturalitate. 

I am firmly convinced that all the members of the Commission worked conscientiously and 
examined everything which could have aided their search for truth. The Church cannot risk 
her credibility, and often, in similar cases, she has studied events like these carefully and 
rebuked groups who gathered in places where it had been established that the events were 
not supernatural. Let us remember Garabandal in Spain, San Damiano in Italy, and dozens 
of similar places in the past few years. The seers at Garabandal claimed that Our Lady 
promised a great sign for the whole world. Twenty -five years have passed since then, and 

still there is no sign. If Our Lady had left a sign it would be clear to all what this is about. 
It was said that Our Lady started to appear at Podbrdo on Mount Crnica. When the police 
stopped people going there she appeared in people's homes, on fences, in fields, in 
vineyards, and tobacco fields. She appeared in the church, on the altar, in the sacristy, in 
the choir-loft, on the roof, in the bell-tower, on the roads, on the road to Cerno, in a car, on 
a bus, in schools, at several places in Mostar and Sarajevo, in monasteries in Zagreb, in 
Varazdin, in Switzerland, in Italy, then again at Podbrdo, in Krizevac, in the parish, in the 
presbytery and so on. This does not list even half the number of locations where apparitions 
were alleged to have taken place, so that a sober man who venerates Our Lady must ask: 
"My Lady, what are they making of you?" 

By Divine law I am the pastor in this diocese, the teacher of the faith, and the judge in 
questions concerning the faith. Since the events in Medjugorje have caused strife and 
division in the Church - some people believing, others not believing - because there are 
those who have refused to submit themselves to the authority of the Church, and because 
the recommendations and decisions of the above mentioned authorities, commissions, 
congregations of the Bishops' Conference had no effect, I the bishop of Mostar, answerable 
before God for discipline in this diocese repeat and confirm earlier decisions of 
ecclesiastical bodies, and I forbid pilgrimages to come here and attribute a supernatural 
character to these events before the Commission of the Bishops' Conference completes its 

I turn to you, O Immaculate Virgin and Mother, Mother of God, and Mother of the Church, 
Mother of the faithful who seek, pray to, and love you. I, your servant, the Bishop of 
Mostar, turn to you, and before the whole world declare my deep and constant faith in all 
the privileges God bestowed upon you according to which you are the first and most 
excellent of His creatures. I express my profound and unswerving faith in your intercession 
before Almighty God for all the needs of your children in this vale of tears. 

I declare my profound and constant faith in your love towards us sinners, that love to which 
you have testified by your apparitions and assistance. I myself have led pilgrimages to 
Lourdes. It is precisely with the strength of this faith that I, your servant the Bishop of 
Mostar, before the great multitudes who have called upon you, discern and accept your 
great sign which, after six years, has become clear and certain. No special sign is necessary 
for me, but it was necessary for those who believed in a falsehood. The sign you have 
given is that for six years you remained silent continually whenever they prophesied that 
there would be an apparition on the mountain which would be permanent and for all to see. 
"It will be soon, quite soon, just be patient a little longer." They were saying this as early as 
1981. Then they claimed that it would be on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, then 
at Christmas, then for the new year and so on. 

Thank you, Blessed Lady, for manifesting by your six year silence whether or not you have 
spoken here, whether or not you had appeared or given messages, revealed secrets, or 
promised a special sign. Most holy Virgin, Mother of Christ and our Mother, intercede for 
peace in this restless region of the Church, the Diocese of Mostar. Intercede especially for 
this village, this parish where your holy name has been mentioned countless times in 

messages. Accept, most holy Virgin, in reparation, the sincere prayers of those devout 
souls who are far from fanaticism and disobedience within the Church. Help us all to come 
to the real truth. Beloved, humble, and obedient Maiden of God, help Medjugorje to follow 
with a firm step the shepherd of the Church on earth, so that we all may glorify you and 
thank you in truth and love. Amen. 

Pavao Zanic, Bishop of Mostar 

Letter To Mrs. Davies From the Bishop of Mostar 

Thank you very much for getting in touch with me. Thank you especially for the translation 
of my statement about Medjugorje, and thank you for taking the correct attitude over this 
great source of confusion. God knows how this will all end, not well, you can be sure of 
that. The Church is divided. Factions are at war in the name of the Queen of Peace. I, who 
saw the beginning of this falsehood, of this lie, have before my very eyes a great deal about 
which it is impossible to write, or to describe, for various reasons. A huge amount of 
money is involved, and so the propaganda has no bounds. In my office there are some fifty 
books about Medjugorje, avast number of cassettes, newspapers, and magazines, and new 
material is arriving all the time, and yet the position I have taken hurts them. For an 
average Catholic the first question to ask is: "What does the Ordinary of the place think 
about this matter?" The position which I have taken brings many people to their senses. Of 
course the fanaticism of some is incorrigible, and no argument avails in their cases. 

Archbishop Franic has caused me dreadful problems, although the mere fact that he thinks 
something does not mean that it must be true. One of the first questions asked by the 
sectaries of Medjugorje is: "How is it that Archbishop Franic believes?" I, for my part, say 
to them, that there are thirty-five bishops in Yugoslavia, and that he is the only one who 
believes, so that argument is worthless. For them, however, it is enough that one 
Archbishop believes. 

I am firmly convinced that no responsible person will dare to defend the apparitions. The 
contrary arguments are too strong. It is only necessary to be aware of them. 


Excerpted from "Letter from London", by Michael Davies The Remnant, 31 March 1989 

I have excerpted from some cuttings, unfortunately not dated, concerning a recent visit to 
Alabama by Marija Pavolovic, one of the so-called seers of Medjugorje. Mss Pavolovic 
was in Alabama for 53 days, and readers will certainly be wondering whether she had any 
visions during her visit. Miss Pavolovic claims that she did. How many, you may be 

Fifty-three of course! One a day. She had come to Birmingham to donate one of her 
kidneys to her brother in an operation performed at the University Hospital, and she 
deserves our admiration for this fine gesture. During the operation, while unconscious 
under an anaesthetic, she claims to have had a vision - which must be a first in the history 

of apparitions. 

During her stay Miss Pavolovic stayed with a Mr. Terry Colafrancesco who, it appears, 
works full time for a non-profit organization called Caritas which he established in 1986 to 
promote Medjugorje: "Since then he has let his business, Country Landscaping, go 
dormant." Mr. Colafrancesco purchased a 90-acre field adjacent to his property for 
$400,000. In that field there is a pine tree. Mr. Colafrancesco mowed a path from his home 
to the tree, mowed around the tree, and placed a Crucifix and a Madonna on the site. He 
asked Miss Pavolovic to have a vision under the tree, and she duly obliged. It is somewhat 
remarkable that Mr. Colafrancesco had been able in advance to distribute information 
about the date and time that Miss Pavolovic would have her vision under the pine tree on 
his newly acquired property. Thousands of pilgrims are now visiting the field, much to the 
delight of the Alabama Bureau of Tourism and Travel. The Shelby County Sheriffs 
Deputy, a gentleman by the name of Gene Hamby, predicted, while directing a steady 
stream of cars to the field, "It's just beginning." 

A Mr. Cyril Auboyneau, Miss Pavolovic's translator, confirmed that Colafrancesco asked 
for a vision in the field: "Terry wanted a vision in the field under that tree - he prayed about 
that. So we asked Marija to ask Our Lady if she would appear in the field on Thanksgiving 
Day. Our Lady said she would appear in the field." 

Well, what can one say? I am astounded that anyone with a modicum of intelligence can 

give one second's credence to anything connected with Medjugorje, apart from the 


of Bishop Zanic. 


As Mgr. Zanic makes clear in the next section, Marija Pavlovic has proved beyond any 
possibility of doubt that no confidence whatsoever can be placed in her veracity. Father 
Tomislav Vlasic, the Svengali figure who has been the principal manipulator of the alleged 
seers, established a bizarre community in Parma, Italy, with an enigmatic German lady 
named Agnes Heupel. In this community young men and women would live together, 
which, Mgr. Zanic comments, is something unheard of in the history of the Church. It 
should be noted that, like his fellow Franciscan, Father Vego, Father Vlasic had also made 
a nun pregnant. When their child was born at the beginning of 1977, he did not leave the 
order to marry the woman named Mada, but begged her not to expose him as the father, 
assuring her that if she kept the matter secret, she would be like Mary, and God would 
bless her! She 

complied with his wishes initially, but later, feeling abandoned, revealed the whole story to 
Mgr. Zanic. As was the case with Father Vego, Father Laurentin resorted to a cover-up, as 
he evidently felt that the credibility of the seers could be endangered if the immorality of 
their spiritual director became known. He went as far as claiming that a Franciscan named 
Pehar, who had left the order and gone to live in the U.S.A., was the father of the child. 

The founding of the Vlasic/Heupel community was a cause of scandal even to some 

devotees of Medjugorje. Father Vlasic decided that his critics would be silenced if it could 
be shown that he had acted in obedience to a command from Our Lady. On 21 April 1988 
Our Lady duly "revealed" the fact that the community had been established at her express 
command to Marija Pavlovic. In July of the same year great consternation was caused 
among the Medjugorists when, possibly as a result of jealousy of Agnes Heupel, Pavlovic 
swore before the Blessed Sacrament that her previous statement had been false, and that the 
Vlasic/Heupel community was in no way endorsed by Our Lady. Even Father Laurentin 
would find it hard to cover-up the fact that Pavlovic must have been lying on at least one 
occasion. The full text of the 11 July 1988 retraction follows: 

I feel morally bound to make the following statements before God, our Lady, and the 
Church of Jesus Christ: 

(1) The message of the text An Invitation to the Marian Year and the deposition which 
bears my signature is that I brought Our Lady's answer to Brother Tomislav Vlasic's 
question. That answer was supposedly: "This is God's plan." In other words, it follows 
from these texts that I transmitted to Brother Tomislav Vlasic, Our Lady's confirmation and 
express approval of this work and of the programme set in motion in Italy with the 
Medjugorje prayer group. 

(2) I now declare that I never asked Our Lady for any confirmation whatsoever of this work 
begun by Brother Tomislav Vlasic and Agnes Heupel. I never expressly asked Our Lady 
whether I should take part in this work and I never received from Our Lady any instruction 
connected with the group, apart from her instruction that each of us should be free 

to make a choice for his or her own life. 

(3) From the texts and depositions which bear my signature it appears that Our Lady 
suggested that the community and the programme of Brother Tomislav Vlasic and Agnes 
Heupel are God's way for myself and the others. I now repeat that I never received from 
Our Lady nor gave Brother Vlasic or anybody else such a statement or instruction from 
Our Lady. 

(4) My first statement in its published form in Croatian and Italian does not correspond to 
the truth. I personally had no desire to make any written statement. Brother Tomislav 
Vlasic advised me, stressing the point again and again, that I, as a seer, ought to write a 
deposition which the world expected. 

(5) I must, moreover, declare that the contents of the letter as set out and my having signed 
it give rise to a number of questions. For the time being, I can give to all possible questions 
only this one answer, which I give, I repeat, before God, Our Lady, and the Church of Jesus 
Christ: everything which might be understood as a confirmation and approval of this work 
of Brother Tomislav Vlasic and Agnes Heupel by Our Lady through myself is absolutely 
untrue and no less untrue is the idea that I spontaneously conceived the wish to write down 
that deposition. 

(6) I consider myself morally bound to repeat the following statements before God, Our 

Lady and the Church: After seven years of daily visions, after my most intimate experience 
of Our Lady's kindness and wisdom, in the light of all that I can remember of Our Lady's 
advice and of Our Lady's answers to the questions which I personally put to her, I can say 
publicly that the idea that Heaven's plan and the message of Our Lady to the world at 
Medjugorje have as a holy consequence and a process desired by Our Lady this Work and 
the programme begun in Italy by Brother Tomislav Vlasic and Agnes Heupel is 

It must, however, also be said that the daily apparitions are continuing. 

I sign this declaration before the Holy Sacrament, and destine it for all those devoted to the 
"Work" of Our Lady in Medjugorje. 

MarijaPavolovic, 11th July 1988 


A Statement by Mgr. Pavao Zanic, Bishop - Published in 1990 

1 . The truth regarding the events in Medjugorje is being sought out by a Commission of the 
Bishops' Conference of Yugoslavia (BKJ). Their work is progressing slowly. Therefore 
with this statement I wish to help the Commission in coming to a decision as soon as 
possible. Propaganda in favor of Medjugorje is being rushed in order to place the Church 
and the world before a fait accompli. This has been the intention of the defenders of 
Medjugorje from the beginning. It must be admitted that they have succeeded, because the 
other side is either working too slowly or remaining silent. For these reasons and due to the 
motivation that I have been given from many from all over the world who realize that the 
truth has been trampled upon, I have decided to make another statement according to my 
duty and my conscience, and help the Commission. With this statement I wish to awaken 
the consciences of those who defend Medjugorje. Their path is simple, wide and downhill 
all the way, while mine is difficult, thorny and uphill. The Church and Our Lady have no 
need of falsehoods. Jesus says: "The truth will make you free" (Jn 8:32). "I am the way and 
the truth and the life" (Jn 14:6). "For this I was born, and for this I have come into the 
world to bear witness to the truth. Every one who is of the truth, hears my voice" (Jn 
18:37). For a short description of the falsehoods about Medjugorje we would need 200 
pages, but for now all I will give is this short summary without a scientific approach. I am 
somewhat uneasy because of the fact that in some statements my name is in the forefront, 
yet from the beginning of the "apparitions" I have been in the center of the events due to 
my episcopal position and duties. I am sorry as well for having to mention some 
"unpleasant things," but without them the arguments lose their strength. However, the most 
unpleasant things will not be mentioned. 

2. A characteristic attitude: Marina B., a tourist guide for Atlas Travel, brought a priest 
from Panama to my office in August 1989. His name: Presbitero Rodriguez Teofilo, pastor 
of Nuestra Senora de Lourdes. With him came Carmen Capriles - a journalist, Gerente 
General of the IATA agency, and Averrida Alberto Navarro, Apartado 1344 Zona 7, 

Panama. Marina presented herself as a tour-guide, translator for English and a convert of 
Medjugorje. The priest asked me for the reasons why I do not believe in the "apparitions". I 
told him that I have at least 20 reasons not to believe, of which only one is necessary for 
those who are sober and well instructed in the faith to come to the conclusion that the 
apparitions are not of the - supernatural. He asked me to please tell him at least one reason. 
I told him about the case of the ex-Franciscan priest Ivica Vego. Due to his disobedience, 
by an order of our Holy Father the Pope, he was expelled from the Franciscan religious 
order OFM by his General, dispensed from his vows, and suspended a divinis. He did not 
obey this order and he continued to celebrate Mass, administer the Sacraments and pass the 
time with his mistress. It is unpleasant to write about this, yet it is necessary in order to see 
of whom Our Lady is speaking. According to the diary of Vicka and the statements of the 
"seers", Our Lady mentioned 13 times that he is innocent and that the bishop is wrong. 
When his mistress, Sister Leopolda, a nun, became pregnant, both of them left Medjugorje 
and the religious life and began to live together near Medjugorje where their child was 
born. Now they have two children. His prayerbook is still sold in Medjugorje and beyond 
in hundreds of thousands of copies. 

I asked Marina to translate this in English. Marina cannot be blamed for having fallen into 
a community which is concealing the truth. She spontaneously responded according to the 
practice in Medjugorje: "Do we have to tell them these ugly things?" I responded by saying 
that if you had not held back and covered these "ugly events" these people from Panama 
would have found out earlier and they would not have had to travel to Medjugorje for 
nothing. It is an injustice and a sin to hide this truth, even though it be unpleasant, it must 
be said. 

3. The Marian theologian Rene Laurentin behaves in the same manner. He came to visit me 
around Christmas 1983, and I offered him dinner. He asked me why I do not believe in the 
apparitions. I told him that according to the diary of Vicka, and the words of the other 
"seers", this "Lady" has been speaking against the bishop. Laurentin quickly responded: 
"Don't publish that, because there are many pilgrims and converts there." I was scandalized 
by this statement of this well known Mariologist! Unfortunately this has remained 
Laurentin's position: to hide the truth, and defend falsehoods. He has written around ten 
books on the topic of Medjugorje and in almost all of them, the truth and Bishop Zanic are 
under fire. He knows well what people like to hear. Therefore, it was relatively easy for 
him to find those who would believe him. "A veritate quidem auditum avertent, ad fabulas 
autem convertentur" - "They will turn away from listening to the truth and wander into 
myths" (2 Tim 4:4). The "seers" and defenders of Medjugorje led by Laurentin, from the 
very outset have seen that the modern believer in a communist country very quickly 
believes in everything "miraculous", in apparent miraculous healings and apparent 
messages from "Our Lady". 

4. The main players on which Medjugorje rests are retired Archbishop F. Franic, R. 
Laurentin, L. Rupcic OFM, Amorth, Rastrelli S.J., and some Franciscans and charismatics 
from all over the world. Many books have been quickly published, as well as articles, 
brochures, films and souvenirs. On the move are tourist agencies, pilgrimages, prayerbooks 
written by two Franciscans Vego and Prusina who were expelled from the Franciscan 

Order, published in many languages in 600,000 copies, fanatical prayer groups that are 
inspired by the apparent messages of Our Lady and the greatest motivator of all - money. 
No one even mentions that which throws doubt on the "apparitions". The bishop has been 
warning everyone, but the "machinery" has been breaking forward. There have been 
mentioned 50 miraculous healings, then 150, 200, 300 and so on. Laurentin chose 56 
dossiers and sent them to the "Bureau Medical de Lourdes". Dr. Mangiapan responded in 
their Bulletin April 1986, that these dossiers have no practical value, and they cannot be 
used or considered as serious proofs of the apparitions in Medugorje. Much has been 
written about the healing of Diane Basile. I sent the dossier to Dr. Mangiapan who studied 
the case and then took the position: "opinion plus que reservee". It is a case of sclerosis 
multiplex. More will be written about this later in a book. 

5. The credibility of the "seers" - MirjanaDragicevic. One month after the beginning of the 
"apparitions" I went to Medjugorje to question the "seers". I asked each of them to take an 
oath on the cross and demanded that they must speak the truth. (This conversation and oath 
was recorded on tape.) The first one was Mirjana: "We went to look for our sheep when at 
once ..." (The associate pastor in the parish interrupted and told me that they actually went 
out to smoke, which they hid from their parents.) "Wait a minute Mirjana, you're under 
oath. Did you go out to look for your sheep?" She put her hand over her mouth. "Forgive 
me, we went out to smoke." She then showed me the watch on which the "miracle" 
occurred because the hands of the watch had gone haywire. I took the watch to a watch 
expert who said that the watch had certainly fallen and become disordered. After bringing 
the watch back to her I told her not to mention that a miracle occurred. Yet, on cassettes 
taped later on, she went on to speak of how a miracle occurred with the watch and that 
initially they had gone out to search for their sheep. 

Later on, she claimed that Our Lady stated that all faiths are equal. To what extent can we 
believe Mrj ana? 

6. Vicka Ivankovic is the main "seer" from the beginning, and through her the creator of 
Medjugorje. Fr. Tomislav Vlasic, OFM, has launched the main portion of falsehoods 
regarding Medjugorje. He presented himself to the Pope in a letter May 13, 1984 as 
follows: "I am Fr. Tomislav Vlasic, the one according to Divine Providence who guides the 
seers of Medjugorje." It would have been better for him that he withdrew himself into the 
desert and that he remained silent, because his past speaks enough about him. Vicka spoke 
and wrote much, and in so doing she fell into many contradictions. Prof. Nikola Bulat, a 
member of the first Commission, questioned her and wrote a 60 page study on her. He 
numbered all the illogicalities and falsehoods of her diary. Here I will only mention the 
bloody handkerchief. Word spread around that there was a certain taxi driver who came 
across a man who was bloody all over. This man gave the taxi driver a bloodied 
handkerchief and he told him to: "Throw this in the river." The driver went on and then he 
came across a woman in black. She stopped him and asked him to give her a handkerchief. 
He gave her his own. but she said: "Not that one but the bloody handkerchief." He gave her 
the handkerchief she wanted and she then said: "If you had thrown it into the river the end 
of the world would have occurred now." Vicka Ivankovic wrote in her diary that they asked 
Our Lady if this event was true and she said that it was, and along with this, "That man 

covered with blood was my son Jesus, and I (Our Lady) was that woman in black." 

What kind of theology is this? From this it appears that Jesus wants to destroy the world if 
a handkerchief is thrown into a river and it is Our Lady who saves the world! 

7. On the 14th of January 1982, Vicka, Marija and little Jakov came to visit me. Vicka 
began to speak quite nervously because she was speaking falsehoods. She said: "Our Lady 
sent us to you to tell you that you are too harsh with the Franciscans ..." In what way? 
"We don't know! " Two Franciscan chaplains in Mostar, Ivica Vego and Ivan Prusina, 
whom the bishop sought to remove from Mostar because of disorder and disobedience 
towards the faithful of the newly established cathedral parish in Mostar, defended 
themselves before their superiors by saying that they would not leave Mostar because Our 
Lady, through Vicka, told them not to leave. This was mentioned to me by a member of the 
Franciscan Provincial council. I asked Vicka at our meeting: "Did Our Lady mention 
anything about the Mostar chaplains, Vego and Prusina?" "She did not, we don't know 
them," responded all three. Our conversation lasted 30 minutes and I taped all of it. I 
brought up the question of the chaplains of Mostar several times and they always 
responded: "We don't know them." Later on, I found from Vicka's diary that they knew the 
chaplains very well. It was clear to me that they were lying, yet I did not want to mention 
this to them in order to maintain their confidence during our conversations. 

8. On the 4th of April 1982, Vicka and Jakov came to visit me ". . . sent by Our Lady." The 
chaplains of Mostar, Vego and Prusina were expelled from the Franciscan Order OFM in 
January of that year by the superiors of their Order. Many followers and "Our Lady" 
defended the expelled chaplains. During our conversation Vicka very excitedly began: 
"The last time we were with you we didn't tell you everything and for this reason Our Lady 
scolded us. We spoke of many things and therefore we forgot ..." "What did you forget?" 
"Our Lady told us to tell you that those chaplains Vego and Prusina are priests and 
therefore they can celebrate Mass just as other priests." "Wait a minute. Did Our Lady tell 
you this before our last meeting?" "Yes, that's why she sent us to you. Last time I spoke of 
many other things and I forgot to mention this." During that previous meeting I asked her 
directly several times if Our Lady mentioned anything about the two chaplains. It was clear 
to me that Vicka was lying and this was proof enough for me not to trust her statements. 
Marija and Jakov also participated in this lie. 

9. Towards the end of January 1983, Fr. Grafenauer, a Jesuit priest, came to me with the 
intention of searching out the phenomenon of Medjugorje. He listened to 20 cassettes and 
after having listened to them he said that he would not go to Medjugorje because he 
concluded that Our Lady is not there. Upon my insistence he went to Medjugorje and after 
a few days he came back as a "convert" of Fr. Vlasic. He brought some documents, threw 
them on the table and said: "Here's what Our Lady wishes to tell you! " I understood this as 
a plot to overthrow the bishop with the help of Our Lady. The documents he brought were 
a compilation of Vicka's diary, the parish chronicle and hand written documents. For this 
reason it is difficult to establish where they were first written. Vicka and those who defend 
Medjugorje hid this from the bishop for more than a Year. Here are a few quotes: 

Dec. 19, 1981 . "Our Lady said that the bishop is to blame for the disorder in Hercegovina. 
She also said that Fr. Ivica Vego is not to blame, yet that the bishop has all authority. Our 
Lady said that he (Vego) should remain in Mostar and not leave. 

January 3, 1982. All the "seers" together asked Our Lady about Fr. Ivica Vego. Our Lady 
answered: "Ivica is innocent. If they expel him from the Franciscan Order, may he remain 
courageous . . . Ivica is innocent." Our Lady repeated this three times. 

January 11, 1982. We asked again about the two chaplains of Mostar, and Our Lady 
repeated twice that which she mentioned earlier regarding them. Note: January 14, 1982 
Vicka was at the Chancery office with the bishop and at that meeting she stated that she did 
not know Vego. 

January 20, 1982. The children asked what Fr. Ivica Vego and Fr. Ivan Prusina were to do 
now that they had been expelled from the Order. Our Lady answered: "They are innocent. 
The bishop was harsh in his decision. They can stay." 

April 15, 1982. Vicka asked Our Lady a question. "Could you generally tell me everything 
about Ivica Vego and Ivan Prusina?" Our Lady smiled at the first and then she said: "They 
are innocent." She repeated twice that: "The bishop has made a mistake ... let them remain 
in Mostar . . . they can say Mass sometimes but they should be careful to stay away from 
attention until things calm down. They have no faults . . ."April 16, 1982. Yesterday while 
we were with Our Lady we asked her if we could pray an Our Father for them (Vego and 
Prusina). She answered immediately: "Yes you can," and she prayed with us. When we 
finished the prayer she smiled and said to me: "Those two are constantly on your mind." I 
answered: "You're right." 

April 26, 1982. Our Lady: "The bishop has no real love of God in his heart. Regarding the 
bishop, may Ivica and Ivan remain calm. What the bishop is doing is contrary to the will of 
God, yet he can do as he pleases, but one day justice such as you have never seen shall be 

10. Vicka never denied that Our Lady said these things or that she wrote these things down 
in her diary. The assurance and authenticity of this can be best confirmed by a cassette 
taped by Fr. Grafenauer during his talks with Vicka and Marija. He left taped copies of the 
cassette in the parish of Medjugorje, with the bishop and also with the Bishops' Conference 
in Zagreb. The cassette should be heard! 

A conversation with Vicka: "The bishop has the duty to judge whether or not this is Our 
Lady ..." saidFr. Grafenauer. 

Vicka: He can judge as he wants, but I know it's Our Lady. Graf: The Church says of those 
who are confident in themselves, that this itself is a sign that Our Lady is not in question 

Vicka: Let those who are doubtful remain doubtful, I'm not. Graf: This is not a good thing 

. . . you once told the bishop that he should pay more attention to Our Lady than to the 

Vicka: Yes I did. Graf: This means that the bishop should listen to you more than to the 

Vicka: No, not me. Graf: But the bishop doesn't know what the phenomenon is and perhaps 
it is not Our Lady. 

Vicka: Yes it is Our Lady. Graf: You told the bishop that he is to blame and that those two 
(Vego and Prusina) are innocent and that they can perform their priestly duties. 

Vicka: Yes I did. Graf: Can they hear confessions? Did Our Lady mention this? 

Vicka: Yes. Graf: If Our Lady said this and the Pope says that they cannot . . . 

Vicka: The Pope can say what he wants. I'm telling it as it is! Graf: See, this is how one can 
come to the conclusion that this is not Our Lady . . . when the Pope says no, they cannot 
celebrate Mass, and they cannot hear confessions, and then on the other hand, Our Lady 
says they can do both, this cannot be! 

Vicka: I know what is right (What Our Lady said). Graf: This cannot be true. I would put 
my hand into fire to testify that this is not Our Lady speaking. When a person has a greater 
gift there also exists a greater danger that the devil could be at work upon this person. 

What a degrading humiliation of Our Lady! From these statements she is destroying 
obedience in the Church, obedience to the bishop, to the heads of the OFM Order, and to 
the Holy Father. She is defending Vego! 


11. The apparition in Cerno. Cerno is a village not far away from Medjugorje. The eighth 
day after the beginning of the apparitions in Medjugorje there was an "apparition" near 
Cerno. The "seers" told Fr. Jozo Zovko, the pastor of Medjugorje at the time, of this 
happening the evening of the event. 

They mentioned that Our Lady said four or five times that she would appear three more 
days, that is, on July 1, 2, and 3. This was taped on cassette publicized by Fr. Ivo Sivric, 
OFM. The cassette was reproduced. A few years later Fr. Janko Bubalo published a book 
titled: A Thousand Meetings with Our Lady. This is a book of conversations with Vicka. 
Vicka does not mention this event, therefore Fr. Bubalo asked whether or not Our Lady 
said "only three more days." Vicka responded that she does not remember! 

It is evident that Vicka is speaking falsehoods and that Our Lady cannot say that which 
Vicka is saying. Vicka is fabricating these statements. Should this remain unknown to the 
rest of the world? Evil (such as speaking falsehoods about Our Lady) must not be done in 

order to obtain a good (such as pilgrimages, prayers, etc.). 

12. "Seer" Marija Pavolovic. Here is a written account of the taped conversation between 
Fr. Grafenauer and Marija: 

Graf: Did Our Lady say that the bishop is to blame? Marija: Yes. 

Graf: Did she say that Vego and Prusina were not to blame? Marija: Yes. 

Graf: When Our Lady says that the bishop is to blame this immediately appears suspicious 
and we could conclude that . . . this is not Our Lady speaking. The seers are apparently 
. . . spreading word around that the bishop is to blame. Marija: Our Lady told us this. 

Graf: This is causing revolt in Hercegovina and these are not good fruits. People will be 
angry with the bishop and will defame his reputation. How can Our Lady do such things? 
The Church knows . . . well that Our Lady is good and that she would never do such 
. . . things. Marija: Our Lady told us this. 

Archbishop F. Franic, Laurentin and many others know all this, yet they remain silent. 
What kind of theology can accept these statements by Our Lady through the declarations of 
the "seers" that their Teacher, Pastor and Liturgist - the bishop, who has legally received 
his duty from Christ through the Church - has no love of God in his heart, that he is 
declared a sinner throughout the world, that he should convert and that prayers will be said 
in Medjugorje for this intention? There were even statements made that Jesus Himself 
would pray for the bishop so that the bishop would believe and then take better action in 
favor of the events in Medjugorje. To say that the bishop is to wait for Our Lady's 
judgment is an absurdity. It is an offense against Our Lady the Mother of the Church. God 
knows that I am not without sin, and that Our Lady could criticize me, yet God alone is the 
judge. I have never been reprimanded or warned by the Holy See for my episcopal service. 

13. The creator of Medjugorje, Fr. Tomislav Vlasic, amongst other things has published 
and distributed in many languages a seventeen page booklet titled: A Calling in the Marian 
Year, Milano, March 25, 1988. This regards the founding of a prayer group for young men 
and women (from Medjugorje) who would live together at Parma in Italy, something which 
has been unheard of in the history of the Church. They would be the ones who would save 
the world. Our Lady apparently gave Fr. Vlasic and Agnes Heupel (a German woman 
supposedly healed in Medjugorje) the inspiration to establish and to lead this community 
together in a manner similar to Saints Francis and Clare, as described by Vlasic. In order 
for this action to succeed, Fr. Vlasic asked Marija to add "her witnessing" on three pages. 
She is a member of this community and on April 21, 1988 she wrote: "Sento il 

bisogno ..." - 1 feel the need ... As can be concluded, Our Lady has given a set program 
to this community of the "Queen of Peace" and she leads this community through Fr. 
Vlasic and Agnes who give messages to the community. "I have been in the community for 
a month and a half. I have apparitions and Our Lady leads me in the mystery of suffering 
which is the foundation of this community. I must write down everything and publish this 
once Our Lady tells me to. I have understood God's plan which he began through Mary in 

the parish of Medjugorje." This quote is taken from pages 15 and 16 of Fr. T. Vlasic's text. 
The defenders of Medjugorje quickly understood that this community of young men and 
women living, sleeping, 

working and praying together in the same house would eventually destroy themselves and 
Medjugorje. Therefore, they sent their Provincial, Fr. Jozo Vasilj to Parma. He went 
together with the Bishop of Parma, Msgr. B. Cochi and Fr. T. Vlasic to the Congregation in 
Rome. They were told there that the Church cannot allow such a community to exist and 
then Fr. T. Vlasic was ordered to dissolve the community and to return to Hercegovina. 
Vlasic did not obey immediately, yet he returned later. This is what was explained to me by 
Fr. Jozo Vasilj regarding the community. 

14. The same Marija Pavolovic made another public declaration on 1 1th of July 1988. On a 
single sheet of paper distributed in the same manner as the statement of 21 April 1988 
(referred to in paragraph 13). In this statement she retracted her claim that Our Lady has 
given her approval to the Vlasic/Heupel community in Parma. She explained that Fr. Vlasic 
had pressurized her into making this statement which did not correspond to the truth. (The 
full text of this statement is provided in Section 4.) 

15. Marija does not deny that she made her first statement. Fr. T. Vlasic sought statements 
from her many times and this obviously turns out to be manipulating one of the "seers". So 
we can conclude that Marija has consciously spoken falsehoods on the first or second 
occasion. She has lied and this she attributes to Our Lady. It is evident that she (Marija) is a 
toy in Fr. Vlasic's hands. This was clear to me even earlier, yet up till now I didn't have 
material proof to back this up. Fr. T. Vlasic has manipulated all the "seers" in the same 
fashion. Under this type of manipulation Marija saw how Our Lady cried when someone 
mentioned the bishop at a prayer meeting: "From Our Lady's eye flowed forth a great tear. 
The tear ran down her face and disappeared into a cloud under her feet. Our Lady began to 
cry and she ascended to Heaven crying" (Aug. 22, 1984). An obvious fabrication by Fr. T. 
Vlasic intended to frighten the bishop. 

Why don't the defenders of Medjugorje mention these two statements of Marija? Must 
these "ugly" things be hidden from the world because there are many "conversions" in 
Medjugorje? Laurentin writes in his book Dernieres Nouvelles 3, on page 27, that a certain 
monsignor asked Marija to pray for a message from Our Lady for his priest. Marija 
answered: "Our Lady said that they should read Laurentin's book and spread it around! " 

It is a terrible sin to attribute one's own lies to Our Lady. When the world learns of this, 
who will believe them anymore? They have been discredited. No one can destroy this 
material evidence. It will be reproduced and spread by word of mouth. I know well that 
there are many who disregard such material. They accept the events of Medjugorje 
irrationally, with great emotion and with personal interests. They are blind, but these 
documents will remain a part of the history of the Church and of Mariology. 

16. The "seer" Ivan Dragicevic. Regarding the "great sign", Vicka mentions this 13 times in 
the diaries, it is mentioned 14 times in the Parish chronicle, 52 times on the cassettes, and 
on numerous occasions in talks with the bishop. In the spring of 1982, 1 asked the "seers" 

to write everything they knew about the sign without making the "secret" public. The way I 
suggested they do it was to write down information on paper in duplicate. Then this would 
be sealed in an envelope and a copy would remain with them, and one with the bishop. 

When the "sign" occurs, then we would open the envelopes and see whether or not the 
"sign" was predicted. Fr. Tomislav Vlasic, pastor of Medjugorje at the time, told the 
"seers" to say that Our Lady said not to write anything down for anybody, and so they 
didn't. Ivan Dragicevic was in the Franciscan minor seminary at Visoko, Bosnia at that time 
and he wasn't informed of this on time. Two members of the first Commission, Dr. M. 
Zovkic and Dr. Z. Puljic (now bishop of Dubrovnik), went to visit Ivan in Visoko. They 
gave him a sheet of paper which was somewhat greenish in colour with questions typed out 
on it. Ivan wrote down the content of the "sign", dated the document and signed it in their 
presence without a word or any sign of fear. A few years later, Laurentin wrote that Ivan 
told him personally that he wrote absolutely nothing down on that sheet of paper and that 
he tricked the two members of the Commission. On March 7, 1985, three members of the 
Commission went to ask Ivan if what Laurentin writes is true. Ivan said it was true and that 
they could freely go ahead and open the envelope in the Chancery office because in it they 
will only find a white sheet of paper. They came back to Mostar where the Commission 
was having a meeting and before all the members, they opened the envelope. In the 
envelope on a greenish sheet of paper they found written the content of the sign: Our Lady 
said that she would leave a sign. The content of this sign I reveal to your trust. The sign is 
that there will be a great shrine in Medjugorje in honor of my apparitions, a shrine to my 
image. When will this occur? The sign will occur in June." 

Dated: May 9, 1982. Seer: Ivan Dragicevic 

After having heard this lie, the members of the first Commission wanted to end all further 
work, yet they stayed on. Within a few days of this event Fr. Slavko Barbaric, OFM, took 
the "seers" somewhere and instructed them all, including Ivan, to write a declaration that 
Ivan did not disclose the sign! 

Ivan sent messages from Our Lady to the bishop. On April 24, 1984 Our Lady said the 
following regarding the bishop: 

"My Son Jesus is praying for him so that he (the bishop) would believe and therefore take 
better action in favor of Medjugorje." She added: "How would he react if my Son were to 
appear on earth? Would he then believe?" 

Regarding the Commission, Our Lady says only the following: "Pray, pray, pray! Think 
over and live the messages I have given and you will see why I have come." 

Ivan Dragicevic, Medjugorje 

17. "Tell the bishop that I seek a quick conversion from him towards the happenings in 
Medjugorje before it is too late. May he accept these events with plenty of love, 
understanding and great responsibility. I want him to avoid creating conflicts between 

priests and to stop publicizing their negative behavior. The Holy Father has given all 
bishops the duty to fulfill certain tasks in their respective dioceses. Among these, the 
parishes in Hercegovina. For this reason I seek his conversion towards these events. I am 
sending my second-last warning. If what I seek does not come about, my judgment and the 
judgment of my Son await the bishop. This means that he has not found the way to my Son 
Jesus." Our Lady told me to give you this message. 

With greetings, Bijakovic, June 21, 1983 

Fr. Tomislav Vlasic brought this document to me, which he more than likely wrote himself 
in a moment of exaltation. 

18. Ivan kept his own diary of the apparitions for a couple of years. This has not been made 
public as Vicka's has not, nor the writings of the others. These are original fonts of the 
events, yet they are full of naive statements, clear falsehoods and absurdities. They are 
good proof of the fact that the "seers" do not see Our Lady or receive messages from her. 
These messages were written by someone else and they were given to Ivan for him to sign 
as his own. When Fr. Grafenauer brought excerpts from Vicka's diary to me, I later on 
asked Vicka to bring her diary to me. She wrote to me on May 7, 1983: "I have found out 
that excerpts from my diary are being distributed ..." This was a very important point 
which the Commission accepted as good argument that the diary was written by Vicka 
herself or that she considered it her own. Later on, Fr. T. Vlasic also came to this 
conclusion, and therefore in 1984, he declared before the Commission and myself, that 
Vicka did not write that letter to me but rather, that a Franciscan did (probably Vlasic 
himself) and that he gave it to her to sign! There are many similar examples of 
manipulation, but none have such clear cut evidence as this. 

19. Secrets and secrecy. From the beginning of the "apparitions", in order to evade the 
detection of discrepancies in their accounts, the "seers" have obviously been instructed to 
claim that "Our Lady" speaks differently to each of them. When the "secrets" were 
fabricated, each was to have his/her own (60 in total) and no one was to reveal them to 
anyone. Mirjana and Ivanka received a letter from Our Lady which nobody was to read. In 
the beginning there were no moments of ecstasy nor avoiding the community. They 
admitted that they were consulted, they asked "Our Lady" if they could write down the 
content of the" great sign" on paper and seal it in an envelope. "Our Lady" responded: 
"NO!" Ivan though, wrote down the sign and later on he said (which has been taped as 
well) that "Our Lady" did not scold him for doing this. The secrets were to be given to a 
priest (a Franciscan). Why were they not given to the Commission, the bishop, or to the 
Pope? In the first months they often said that the" great sign" would come: very soon, 
quickly, and so on . . . When the first year ended, they changed their tone. Vicka wrote 
"Our Lady's life," for a year and a half, and this is a great secret which shall be published 
"when Our Lady permits." The Commission asked for this diary about Our Lady, yet "Our 
Lady" did not comply with their demand. Can the Commission just see the diary without 
taking it or opening it? No, it cannot! This turns out to be a plot to make fools out of all 
those who are naive enough to wait for this sign until the end of the world. I have already 
declared earlier, and now I repeat the same declaration, that if Our Lady leaves a sign 

which the "seers" are speaking of, I'll make a pilgrimage from Mostar to Medjugorje (30 
km) on my knees and beg the Franciscans and the "seers" for forgiveness. 

20. Slander against the bishop. "The bishop also believed in the beginning." This is not 
true! While the communists were persecuting the Franciscans, the "seers" and pilgrims, I 
defended all of them and therefore I did not change my mind "because of threats by the 
Republic commission or because the diocesan priests sought this from me." This is simply 
fabricated slander by many. While I was publicly defending the imprisoned Franciscans, 
Fr. Jozo Zovko said during the investigations that the bishop is a "wolf and a "hypocrite". 
These are the exact words written down in his sentence. Zovko's lawyer, N.N. asked 
through a colleague what I had done to Zovko to deserve such heavy accusations. Fr. T. 
Vlasic often put "Our Lady's" words into the mouths of the "seers", such as "Our Lady's" 
affirmation that Satan (in this case the bishop) is out to destroy her plan. He wrote this 
more clearly in a letter to friends in the Vatican. I complained about this accusation - that 
he had called the bishop Satan, in front of Vlasic and his Provincial. He did not deny my 
objection but rather, he justified his words by saying that he wrote this while under the 
influence of extreme emotion. A person can say something while under emotion, but this 
cannot be written down and translated into foreign languages. 


21. By their fruits. The most common argument of the defenders of Medjugorje is that the 
fruits of the events in Medjugorje prove that Our Lady is appearing there. Those who know 
a little more than the pilgrims who come to Medjugorje say: The fruits of the staunchest 
defenders of Medjugorje show that they themselves do not believe in the apparitions. If all 
the "ugly things" could be made public then surely the answer would be clearly negative to 
everyone. Yet, Laurentin, Rupcic, Valsic, Barbaric and others meticulously hide the truth. 
If the defenders of Medjugorje come across someone who is skeptical of the apparitions, 
they quickly isolate this person, accuse him of something or declare him mad (J. L. 
Martin). The majority of the pious public has naively fallen victim to the great propaganda, 
the talk of the apparitions and of healings. These people themselves have become the 
greatest propaganda for the events. They do not even stop to think that the truth has been 
hidden by deliberate falsehoods. They are unaware that not even one miraculous healing 
has occurred that could have been verified by competent experts and institutions such as 
the "Bureau Medical de Lourdes". No one knows of any healed from Hercegovina. 
Everyone knows that little Daniel, old Jozo Vasilj, Venka Brajcic and others cited in the 
first books about Medjugorje were not healed. 

22. Promises of healings are characteristic of the events. When they don't occur as 
promised, then they are denied because they were never taped or written down on paper. 
There have been many promises that have ended tragically. What interests us is whether or 
not "Our Lady" is giving these promises, or whether or not they are thought up by the 
"seers". The tragic end of Marko Blazevic as described by the retired archbishop of 
Belgrade, Msgr. Turk, says much regarding "promises" of healing. The archbishop writes 
May 22, 1984, that he was received as a patient of the Cardiology clinic at the Belgrade 

hospital. The archbishop was given the bed that was previously occupied by Marko 
Blazevic of Buna, near Mostar, who was to go in for an operation. Mr. Blazevic told the 
archbishop and many other patients, doctors and hospital staff that Our Lady had promised, 
through the "seers", that the operation would succeed. A nun who assisted in the operation 
room, wrote to me later that Blazevic's wife and his daughter spoke to her with a fanatical 
type of faith in "Our Lady's promise." A certain doctor was also convinced in this promise. 
The patient did not wake up after the operation. During the operation, a group of patients 
prayed fervently outside the doors of the operating room. Many spoke of this incident 
which left many very disappointed and ashamed before people of other faiths and atheists. 
Fr. T. Vlasic, in his typical fashion of hiding the truth, succeeded in convincing the 
daughter of the late Mr. Blazevic to go to the bishop to tell him that Our Lady only told 
them to pray, not that she promised them that the operation would succeed. I told her not to 
make a liar out of her late father or liars of the others to whom he spoke. 

23. The Franciscan and diocesan clergy. The relations between the Franciscan and diocesan 
clergy regarding pastoral duties in the parishes of Hercegovina were established by a 
Decision of the Holy See in 1899 by the suggestions of the Franciscans themselves and 
then Bishop Paskal Buconjic, OFM. According to this Decision the parishes were to be 
divided equally into two groups of 50% of the faithful between the clergy. Since there were 
no diocesan clergy at the time, the parishes that rightfully belonged to them were, in 1923, 
left to the Franciscans ad nutum S. Sedes. Bishop Cule, the first diocesan bishop of Mostar, 
in 1948 was sentenced to 1 1 years and 6 months in jail. He served eight and a half years of 
this sentence before being released. After his jail term the number of diocesan clergy began 
to rise. In 1968, the Holy See ordered the Franciscans to hand over five parishes to the 
diocesan clergy. They barely gave two parishes. In 1975 after many years of talks and 
consultations a Decree of the Holy See was issued regarding the division of parishes in 
Hercegovina. The Franciscans publicly and collectively denounced this Decree even 
though they administer to over 80% of the faithful in the diocese of Mostar. In 1976, due to 
disobedience, the hierarchy of the Franciscan Province along with then Provincial Silic, 
lost their authority and since then, the Province has been without its independence, and the 
General of the Order rules directly over the Province ad instar. Another penalty was that in 
1979, the Franciscans from Hercegovina were not allowed to participate in the election of 
the General. The first point mentioned by the new General of the Order to his brothers in 
Hercegovina was: "the development or creation of obedience to, and cooperation with the 
bishop in Hercegovina." Disobedience prevails today as before, and "Our Lady" from the 
beginning has been defending disobedient Franciscans. Vicka writes in her diary of the 
apparitions, that Our Lady said that the bishop is to blame for all the disorder in 
Hercegovina (see no. 9). This is repeated many times. The Franciscans themselves are 
divided. The Franciscan opposition that defends Medjugorje succeeded in toppling their 
own ad instar superiors who had developed good relations with the bishop, and they 
installed a group that defends Medjugorje. The new Provincial ad instar, Fr. Jozo Vasilj, 
did not succeed in creating peace and order amongst his brothers so he escaped to the 
missions in Zaire and won't come back! (Fruits?) He has been replaced by the Vice 
Provincial and the General has called for obedience from all or else the Province shall be 
abolished. "It is time that everyone take their own personal responsibility before judicial 
sanctions are made or the Province is abolished" (Acta Ordinis F. M. fasc. 1/89). The 

Province will not receive its own hierarchy until the Decree is completed. Three visitors of 
the OFM Order who came to the Province in 1988, said that there is not one Franciscan in 
the Province who is in favor of completing the Decree. This opinion is exaggerated yet still 

24. This is only a portion of the "good fruits" of the events. The pilgrims, though, only 
know that the bishop "hates the Franciscans." There are a good number of Franciscans in 
the Province who cooperate well with the bishop and these Franciscans do not believe in 
the apparitions either. Some of them have never set foot in Medjugorje. 

A number of good Franciscans have begged me to write something so that, together, we 
could start a battle against the lies of Medjugorje, because they believe that "God will 
punish us Franciscans severely because we have spread lies and falsehoods throughout the 
world and made money from them." 

Of the one hundred diocesan priests in the dioceses of Hercegovina, not one believes in the 
apparitions. Of the 42 bishops of Yugoslavia (ordinaries, auxiliaries and retired), only one 
has been outspoken in declaring his belief and has defended the events. Of the 15 members 
of the first Commission, which was formed by the Bishop of Mostar with the help of the 
bishops and provincials from Yugoslavia, 1 1 of the members said that there is nothing 
supernatural in the events of Medjugorje, 2 (Franciscans) claimed that the apparitions are 
authentic, 1 member said that there was something in nucleo (in the beginning) and 1 
abstained. Contrary to what has been spread by the defenders of Medjugorje, the Holy See 
has never asked for, seen, or passed a judgment on the three year work of the Commission. 
Neither did the Holy See abandon the bishop. 

25. From the beginning of the events I warned the Franciscans that they must wait for the 
judgment of the Church, so that together we can search for the truth. The leaders of the 
events though, had as their aim to bring the masses as soon as possible to Medjugorje, 
obtain a lot of money for propaganda and use Our Lady for their battle against the bishop. 
They fabricated miracles regarding the sun. Many pilgrims damaged their eyes from staring 
into the sun. They cited 50, 150, 200 and 300 healings and they spoke of all sorts of things 
seeing that the faithful believed everything they said, especially when Archbishop F. Franic 
and Laurentin were there to back them up. The faithful in Medjugorje look upon the events 
as they are instructed, as is the case in all other places of apparitions be they true or false. 
The marveling and excitement here has been regarded at times as leading to great blindness 
and fanaticism. 

26. The Italians know well the "story" of Gigliole Ebe Giorgini, the foundress of the false 
order of "Pia Opera di Gesu Misericordioso." Separated and remarried civilly, she spent 
time doing quackery. She gathered young women for her order and she received and earned 
great amounts of money. She had two priests in her service and many houses. She led a 
double life and had false stigmata which she made herself. Her "sisters" followed her 
fanatically and they called her Mamma Ebe. She had male vocations as well, but some who 
left her later on declared that she led an immoral life. She had many jewels and gold, two 
yachts, 32 furs, etc. Many in the Church objected to her way of life, while others fanatically 

defended her, citing good fruits. She even received praise from two bishops. Twice during 
the night police raided her room in the mother house and they found her in bed with one of 
her seminarians. A scandal broke out and she was sentenced twice to many years in prison 
along with a Franciscan who was her confessor. The press wrote for years about this 
scandal. An illicit film was made as well, yet her followers fanatically and blindly defended 
her even when the order fell apart. According to them, she was a Saint who attracted many 
vocations and this was argument enough for many that from the "fruits" she was obviously 
inspired by God! Religious blindness is extremely hard to cure. Fanaticism brought the 
beginning of the heresies in the Church, today it is the foundation of sects. 

The Protestant pastor Fr. Jim Jones developed a great charitable organization in southern 
Chicago and he gathered great sums of money and many fanatical followers of his sect. In 
order to be freer in their work, about 1000 of them went to Guyana. South America where 
they established "Jonestown" as their new home. They established a dictatorship and 
fanatical obedience to their "Messiah". Much was written about terrible things that went on. 
about the immorality of Jones and how some tried to escape the community but were 
caught and killed. Then they were without money. Rumors spread that the American army 
would intervene, so Jones ordered them to retreat to the jungle. Seeing no way out, he 
called on everyone to give up their lives in order to travel to eternity. Over 900 of them 
came with cups to a huge pot in order to drink poison and then fall dead. What gave them 
the strength to commit suicide? Fanaticism! Yet when the Christian faithful hear of 
apparitions and miracles they easily accept these events as facts without being at all critical 
of the events. They are then caught up in their blindness and fanaticism. Whatever is 
spoken is believed automatically, such as, that ordinary rosaries in Medjugorje turn to gold! 
And people actually believe this! 

27. This blindness towards the events in Medjugorje has also caught some priests and 
bishops. Many priests from Italy, (such as Amorth, Restrelli and others), easily could have 
heard that the bishop, the Commission, the bishops of Yugoslavia, a portion of the 
Franciscans and all the diocesan priests do not believe in the events. Yet, they avoided the 
truth, even though I received everyone who inquired about the events and gave them my 
time. I'm particularly surprised at the lack of collegiality by some bishops. Nobody has to 
accept my judgment, but everyone is obligated by conscience to study well the events of 
Medjugorje before taking a position, especially if that person has a position of authority in 
the Church, as bishops do. 

What have they done to you Our Lady! For nine years they have been dragging you along 
as a tourist attraction. They have been speaking with you whenever it pleased them, as if 
you were a bank teller. They have fabricated messages, and they say that you come and 
appear there, but beyond their own arguments they have nothing to prove that what they 
say is true. The whole world is in expectation of a "great sign" and the naive still wait and 
believe. Unfortunately this false sensation will bring great disgrace and scandal upon the 
Church. Those who lead the events are not converting even though the threat of the 
abolition of the Province by the General hangs over them. 

This is only a small compilation of that which I would like to write about. I hope that I will 

have the opportunity to expand further, with precise documentation and publish a book on 
these events. 

28. There are many prayers and pious activities in Medjugorje. Some say that there have 
been conversions as well. I have received indeed many truly touching letters, and I feel 
sorry for those who will sooner or later be disappointed. But there has also been fanaticism, 
superstition and misinformation in the events of Medjugorje. I have also received many 
rude accusations in the mail which I cannot mention, all in the name of the "Queen of 
Peace". That which is positive in these events cannot justify the falsehoods and lies that 
have been spread in order to win the world over for God. Jesus said: "I have come into the 
world to give witness to the truth" (Jn 18:37). The Church would easily be able to attract 
the masses if it dropped the sixth commandment, if divorce were allowed, if it let everyone 
believe and do what they wanted. But, Jesus died on the Cross for the truth, and the 
Martyrs gave up their lives for the truth. St. Paul writes to his faithful: "If anyone preaches 
to you a gospel besides that which you have received, let him be anathema" (Gal. 1 :9). 
Today, many prayer groups all over the world pray from Fr. Ivica Vego's prayerbook and 
meditate over the supposed messages of Our Lady as if these things were more important 
than the Bible and the teaching Magisterium of the Church. I do believe despite these 
events, that Our Lady shall beg the necessary graces for the Church in order for it to live 
Christ's truth. 

I know that there will probably be many sincerely pious souls that will misunderstand me 
and consider me an enemy of Our Lady. I have been to Lourdes many times and to other 
shrines of apparitions that the Church has recognized. What I am doing is defending the 
truth, defending the Church, and I pray to God that I be able to give up my life for this. 

29. Those who have written about Medjugorje have sold their books well and have made 
great profits. Unfortunately, those who have written critically, haven't fared as well because 
they have come across an organized boycott. For the other side of the story, people should 

Sivric, Dr. Ivo, OFM. (A Franciscan born in Medjugorje and now living in St. Louis, MO, 
USA), La Face Cachee de Medjugorje, tome I, 1988, p. 400 (edizione franQese), Editions 
Psilog, C. p. 300, Saint-Fran?ois-du-Lac, Quebec, Canada JOC IMO. Tel. (514)568-3036. 
Idem, The Hidden Side of Medjugorje, Vol. I, 1989. Ed. Psilog, Saint-Frangois-du-Lac, 
Quebec (English version). 

Gramaglia, PA. L'Equivoco di Medjugorje: Apparizioni Mariane o Fenomeni di 

Medianita? Claudiana, Toronto, Canada, 1987,pp. 172. 

Jones, E.M., Medjugorje: The Untold Story, Southbend, IN, 1994, pp. 144. 

Pavao Zanic 
Bishop of Mostar 



The Irish Bishops' Conference, 13th June 1990 

The Irish Bishops' Conference issued a 5 point statement on the subject of Medjugorje. 
Point 4 stated "Until the Church gives its decision no one is entitled, on behalf of the 
Church, to presume a favorable judgment regarding the apparitions in Medjugorje. That is 
why the Church does not approve pilgrimages and other manifestations organized on the 
presumption that a supernatural character can be attributed to the facts of Medjugorje." 

"Bishops 'Leaked Ruling on Yugoslav Shrine" 

Under this headline the Universe of January 13th 1991 carried the following report from 
Rome by their correspondent Ronald Singleton. 

The Yugoslavian Bishops' Conference, according to a leaked report, has concluded that 
there is nothing supernatural about the phenomena at the Marian Shrine of Medjugorje. 

The bishops have allegedly decided that the sanctuary, visited by more than 10 million 
pilgrims since 1981, "has no revelation to offer." They are said to have urged help to be 
given to Bishop Pavao Zanic of Mostar, the diocese which embraces Medjugorje, in 
dealing with the phenomena. 

The Yugoslav Episcopal Conference prepared a report for the Vatican's Sacred 
Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which its Prefect, Cardinal Josef Ratzinger, the 
Church's chief Moral Watchdog, had already studied. 

The bishops held a special session at the end of November in Zagreb to discuss the 
developments in Medjugorje. 

At the start of the meeting the bishops said they were going to hear evidence and, if 
necessary, publish pastoral directives. But after the meeting they decided against issuing 
any statement. 

Rome's impeccable news agency ASCA made the claims from what it says is a leaked 
report, which have been published by leading newspapers. Milan's daily Avenire linked to 
the Italian Episcopal Conference, has given the report a prominent position. 

There has so far been no official Vatican response to the ASCA report and no official 
comment from the Doctrine Congregation. However a spokesman said: "The report can be 
considered to be a 'leak in information, an 'indiscretion', a portion of the bishops' report 
lifted from the whole. 

It is unlikely that there will be Vatican comment, and, eventually, its public ruling on the 
Medjugorje shrine may simply be to announce that it has taken note of what the 
Yugoslavian Bishops have concluded. 

The Zagreb November conference was attended by representatives of the 23 dioceses. 
Reportedly, 19 bishops approved the findings, with one abstention, and three absentees' 
votes uncast. 

The allegedly leaked report published in Italian newspapers reads: 

"The bishops have followed events at Medjugorje in contact with the local bishop, the local 
diocesan commission, and the special commission of the conference. On the basis of 
research, it cannot be affirmed that the events are supernatural apparitions or revelations. 

In the meantime the constant gathering at Medjugorje of faithful from all parts of the 
world, and urged by motives of faith, requires the attention and care of the bishops. 

Therefore our conference, in the spirit of ecclesiastical communion, is disposed to help the 
resident bishop to organize pastoral work in Medjugorje in favor of a correct liturgical 
pastoral activity, thereby to forestall and impede phenomena not conforming to the spirit of 
the Church." 


Rome Studies New Medjugorje Report 

This was the heading of a report in the Catholic Herald of 25th January 1991, from their 
correspondent Viviane Hewitt in Rome, with the additional information that "The 
Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is now said to have imposed a ban on further 
information on the issue of Medjugorje . . . The report coincides with a new campaign by 
some Italian bishops against pilgrimages to Medjugorje, pending a Vatican ruling." 

The Medjugorje Industry 

In a letter to Father Hugh Thwaites, dated 17 August 1987, Mgr. Zanic stated bluntly that 
Our Lady does not appear at Medjugorje, that there are no miracles, and that the 
"messages" cannot come from Our Lady: "They are the fruit of a fabrication, fraud, and 
disobedience to the Church. It is about big money and personal interest too." When he 
wrote this letter in 1987 the good bishop can scarcely have imagined the extent to which 
what can only be described as the Medjugorje industry would expand by 1993. It must now 
be considered primarily as a multi-million dollar business operation, particularly in the 
United States. 

The amount of money made by travel operators would be impossible to calculate. Many of 
the so-called Medjugorje centers are, in reality, quasi travel agencies. Section 3 describes 
the manner in which a certain Terry Colafrancesco paid for Marija Pavlovic to bring her 
brother to Birmingham, Alabama for a kidney transplant in 1989. In 1986 he had founded 
an organization named Caritas to promote the Medjugorje messages. Colafrancesco will 
have been pleased but not surprised when Pavlovic agreed obligingly to help her benefactor 
by having a vision on Thanksgiving Day of that year in the field that he had bought for 

$400,000, and on precisely the day that he had announced in advance. Since then 
Colafrancesco has not looked back. 

Sacrificial Giving 

Colafrancesco' s organization Caritas has expanded considerably, and in 1993 he was 
appealing for more than one and a half million dollars to build a "Medjugorje Tabernacle". 
On page 15 of his May- June Newsletter, which has a circulation of 150,000, he described 
the proposed tabernacle as follows: 

The "Tabernacle of Our Lady's Messages" is a 32,000 square-foot building that will house 
the six different ministries at Caritas. It will have three floors, all dedicated 100 percent to 
Our Lady of Medjugorje. Through this tabernacle will flow the messages of Our Lady 
through the printing, producing and shipping of newsletters, tapes, booklets, textbooks, 
flyers, researching the messages and researching history, etc., all over the United States as 
well as into sixty-five foreign countries. 

In order to build his tabernacle Mr. Colafrancesco would like $1,600,000. He requests his 
readers to "pray to the Holy Spirit" before reading his fundraising "pitch", which bears an 
uncanny, or perhaps not so uncanny, resemblance to techniques employed by Protestant 
T. V. evangelists who spread a gospel composed almost entirely of admonitions to make 
sacrificial donations. Mr. Colafrancesco warned his readers that the building of the 
tabernacle would be "in jeopardy" unless many of them were moved to help. Those who 
might be in doubt about donating are told to pray to Our Lady as he has heard from many 
people who "after prayer felt Our Lady urging them to do so." Satan, it would appear, 
would do anything to persuade Catholics not to donate to the tabernacle. "We know times 
are difficult for many of you, but they are going to get more difficult and Our Lady's plan is 
what will reverse that in the long run. We are at a point in construction where decisions 
have to be made to proceed to the next steps and we need your response immediately. The 
people of this nation and the world need the security of Our Lady, not savings." The 
alleged tens of thousands of messages of Our Lady which are to be housed in Mr. 
Colafrancesco' s tabernacle are almost invariably truisms of such utter banality that any ten 
your old could compose them: 

Dear children, today I invite you to live in humility all the messages which I am giving 
you. Do not become arrogant, living the messages and saying, "I am living the messages. 
If you shall bear and live the messages in your heart, everyone will feel it so that words, 
which serve those who do not obey, will not be necessary. For you, dear children, it is 
necessary to live and witness by your lives. Thank you for having responded to my call. 

Dear children. Thank you for dedicating all your hard work to God even now when He is 
testing you through the grapes you are picking. Be assured dear children, that He loves you 
and therefore He tests you. You just always offer up all your burdens to God and do not be 
anxious. Thank you for having responded to my call. 

Can one seriously imagine the Mother of God appearing on earth four to six times a day if 
she has nothing more profound than this to say? 

Celestial Book Reviews 

Mr. Colfrancesco sells the first two volumes of the Poem of the Man God at $35.00 dollars 
each. It would appear that sales had been adversely affected by Cardinal Ratzinger's 
admonition that the book should not be read. Mr. Colafrancesco consulted Marija Pavlovic 
whom he describes as "a close personal friend." Miss Pavlovic demonstrated her friendship 
yet again with a promptness equal to that she had displayed in arranging the Thanksgiving 
Day apparition for her benefactor. Miss Pavlovic used her direct line to Heaven to consult 
Our Lady concerning the book, and was assured that we are free to read it. I understand 
that her actual words were: "It makes for good reading." Mr. Colafrancesco assures us that 
there is "no question that she spoke to Our Lady". As is proved conclusively in Section 4, 
Pavlovic is a self-confessed liar. 

"Remarkable Things" and "Miracles" 

Mr. Colafrancesco claims that Our Lady speaks directly to his Caritas community through 
her daily messages. Each morning they read a randomly chosen message which results in 
"remarkable things" such as the following "remarkable thing" which concerned a retreat for 
children in "the Field" (note the upper case "F"): 

An area Catholic grade school had planned a retreat day at Caritas and the Field (the site of 
Our Lady's apparition to visionary Marija Pavlovic in November 1988). Several hundred 
children from kindergarten through the eighth grade joined the Caritas community and staff 
for our daily rosary as well as assisting at a Mass they had planned for the Field. That day 
at morning prayer, before the students arrived, we opened up the following message: April 
29, 1983 - Concerning a group of young people as they leave for their pilgrimage: "I wish 
that you pray throughout your trip and that you glorify God. There you will be able to meet 
other young people. Convey the messages which I have given you. Do not hesitate to speak 
to them about it." 

Not only does the Caritas community experience "remarkable things", but cites what it 
claims are "miracles" at Medjugorje. An account of a "Eucharistic Miracle" appeared in the 
May -June 1993 Newsletter. A non-Catholic lady accompanied a Caritas from Birmingham 
pilgrimage to Medjugorje. Pilgrimages to Medjugorje have, of course, been forbidden by 
the Bishop, the lawful authority in the diocese, and so every organized pilgrimage there 
constitutes an act of disobedience to lawful authority. This Protestant lady was annoyed 
that she could not receive Holy Communion. Non-Catholics are permitted to receive 
Catholic Holy Communion only on very rare occasions with specific permission after a 
number of stringent conditions have been fulfilled. But, it would appear, Our Lady was 
more concerned at the displeasure of the Protestant than with adherence to the law of the 
Church, and so she arranged for the lady to receive Communion in circumstances which 
Mr. Colafrancesco describes as miraculous: 

When distribution for Communion came, the first priest off the altar came toward the group 
leader. He and the others around him expected to be given the Eucharist, but instead the 
priest walked through the crowd which opened up. The leader, as well as the group, 
watched stunned as everyone was passed by while the priest walked directly to the spot 
where the woman was sitting in the pew. He held up the Eucharist for her to receive. The 
leader and the group and she herself stared in disbelief at what they were seeing. Though it 
was but a moment, it seemed the hesitation lasted for minutes. While she sat there and 
Jesus in the Eucharist was held up before her, she hesitated at first, not being sure, then 
willfully (sic) received Him. Everyone around her who was not weeping were (sic) fighting 
back their (sic) tears because all knew the priest could not have seen her until he was 
before her, much less known that she was not a Catholic. Only a few months later, the 
pilgrim who did not want to become a Catholic, received the Holy Eucharist a second time 
as a new Catholic. 

Millions are Deluded 

What is most alarming about the Medjugorje phenomenon is the number of Catholics who 
have been deluded into believing it. It would be a serious matter if a few thousand or even 
a few hundred Catholics were wasting their time and their money, and giving their 
credence and their cash to a fraud that detracts from the dignity of Our Lady, presenting her 
as possibly the most garrulous woman in history. But millions of people have now visited 
Medjugorje and are now supporting the ever-expanding Medjugorje industry. Every month 
Twin Circle and the National Catholic Register publish what amounts to a Medjugorje 
colour supplement with a monthly message such as the following for August 1993: 

Dear Children, 

I want you to understand that I am your Mother, that I want to help you, can call you to 
prayer. Only by prayer can you understand and accept my messages and practice them in 
your life. Read Sacred Scripture, live it and pray to understand the signs of the time. This is 
a special time, therefore I am with you to draw you close to my heart and the heart of my 
Son, Jesus. Dear little children, I want you to be the children of the light and not of the 
darkness. Therefore live what I am telling you. Thank you for having responded to my call. 

This particular issue listed no less than 177 Medjugorje Centers throughout the U.S.A. 
which included, of course, Caritas of Birmingham together with Medjugorje Information 
Centers, Peace Centers, Resource Centers, Message Centers, Ventures, Centers for Love, 
Centers for Peace (many of these), Messengers of Peace, Queen of Peace, Hearts for Peace, 
Pilgrims for Peace Video Ministry, Mary's Touch by Mail, Friends, Coalitions, and Book 
Centers. There is no little irony in the fact that the area in Bosnia where Our Lady is 
alleged to have appeared with the title of "Queen of Peace" is a center of one of the most 
vicious wars of this century, of which she gave not the least warning in tens of thousands of 

There are now many Medjugorje newsletters serving the needs of the industry, including 

the Medjugorje News which is circulated throughout Canada. It reports in its issue number 
5 in 1993 that 20,000 people came to hear the "seer" Ivan when he came to Marmora in 
Ontario, where Our Lady is also alleged to appear to children and adults of various ethnic 
backgrounds, including a member of the Macedonian Orthodox Church. It is claimed that 
Angels and deceased members of families appear there and converse! The literature which 
circulates among Medjugorje devotees lists literally hundreds of apparitions of Our Lady 
allegedly taking place throughout the world, including twenty-five in Ireland alone. News 
of every new apparition is greeted with uncritical enthusiasm by many thousands of 
devotees. One can only say that whatever all this represents it is not Catholicism. 

The appearance of Ivan in Ontario indicates the current policy of the Medjugorje "seers", 
i.e. that as due to the war in Bosnia the people cannot come to the seers, the seers will come 
to the people. One can refer with complete accuracy to a Medjugorje "road-show". It has 
even reached Kent, the county in England where I live. The Autumn 1993 issue of The 
Children of Medjugorje (published in Scotland) recounts the appearance of Ivan at "The 
Medjugorje Ecumenical Day of Prayer" on 28 August 1993 at the Carmelite Priory at 
Aylesford in Kent. The customers came expecting an apparition, and: 

The mother of Jesus appeared in "an indescribable light, wearing a grey dress with a white 
veil over her dark hair", according to the visionary, 27 year old Ivan Dragicevic. Her eyes 
are blue and she has rosy cheeks, he told the gathering of 5,000 Christians. Ivan said that 
Mary "was joyful and prayed over all of us with outstretched hands. She blessed us all." 
He added that, "She then prayed for peace in a special way for a long time." The Virgin 
gave no special message having given one for the world only three days before in 
Medjugorje. She simply said, "Go in peace, my dear children", before departing in the light 
of a shining cross. 

Ivan's script could well have been written by Walt Disney! The report was accompanied by 
a picture of Ivan wearing pajamas and kneeling by a radiator looking extremely pious. The 
message given at Medjugorje on 25 March 1993, to which Ivan referred, reads as 

Dear Children, I want you to understand that I am your Mother, that I want to help you and 
call you to prayer. Only by prayer can you understand and accept my messages and practise 
them in your life. 

Read Sacred Scripture, live it, and pray to understand the signs of the time. This is a special 
time. Therefore I am with you to draw you close too my heart and the heart of my Son, 

Dear little children, I want you to be children of the light, not the darkness. Therefore, live 
what I am telling you. 

Thank you for your response to my call. 

Speedy Condemnation Needed 

It would seem that the Vatican is delaying its announcement that nothing supernatural has 
occurred at Medjugorje for fear of the reaction among its devotees, but the longer it delays 
the announcement, which must inevitably come, the greater will be the number of those 
devotees and the greater their disillusionment. When the announcement comes many souls 
will be lost to the Church as they will prefer the authority of spurious messages to the 
authority of the Magisterium. It is therefore imperative that all who have a true devotion to 
Our Lady do everything possible by praying and by writing to persuade the Holy See to 
publish the verdict of the former Yugoslav Bishops' conference without further delay (see 
Section 6). They should also try by prayer and by persuasion to convince those who have 
been duped by the propaganda of the Medjugorje industry that the whole scandalous affair 
represents, as Mgr. Zanic expressed it, "the fruit of a fabrication, fraud, and disobedience to 
the Church. It is about big money and personal interest too." 


Mgr. Zanic has resigned as Bishop of Mostar and was replaced by Mgr. Ratko Peric who 
had spent ten years in Rome as Rector of the Pontifical Croatian College in Rome. Rumors 
have been circulated that Mgr. Zanic was forced to resign by the Pope who did not approve 
of his intransigent opposition to the veracity of the Medjugorje apparitions. Had this been 
the case the Holy Father would have appointed a successor more open to the possibility of 
their veracity. On the contrary, Mgr. Peric is, if anything, more adamant concerning their 
falsity than was Mgr. Zanic. This should be more than adequate to make the position of the 
Pope clear. In the October 1993 issue of his diocesan journal, Crkva na Kamenu (The 
Church on the Rock), Mgr. Peric directed an open letter to St. Francis of Assisi in which he 
complains to the Saint that his spiritual sons, the Bosnian Franciscans, are quite 
disobedient. The same issue contains a long interview with the new bishop in which he 
makes it clear that his opposition to the false devotion is as great as or greater than that of 
Mgr. Zanic. A partial translation of the interview appeared in the February 1994 issue of 
Fidelity. Mgr. Peric testified that his predecessor had been open to the veracity of the 
apparitions in the beginning. He pointed out that Mgr. Zanic would evidently have been 
predisposed to believe in the alleged apparitions. He continued: 

What bishop wouldn't be delighted that the Virgin Mary should be appearing in his 
diocese? Especially Mgr. Zanic, a very Marian bishop, who as a priest and later as a bishop 
made eleven pilgrimages to various Marian shrines all over Europe: Lourdes, Fatima, 
Syracuse, etc. And then for the Gospa (Our Lady) to have mercy on him and begin to 
"appear" in his own backyard as if to bring an end to all his wanderings all over Portugal. 

But after a few months, when he heard the small fibs and large lies, insincerities, 
inexactitudes, and all sorts of fabricated stories from those who claimed that the Gospa was 
appearing to them, he became totally convinced that it was not a matter of supernatural 
apparitions of the Gospa. Then he started to bring out the truth and to expose the 
falsehoods. The greatest satisfaction of his ten years of hard work was when the bishops of 
Yugoslavia at their spring meeting at Zadar on April 10, 1991, dutifully declared: "On the 
basis of studies it cannot be affirmed that supernatural apparitions and revelations are 
occurring." This is an exceptionally clear ecclesiastical ruling, and is a rebuttal of the 

claims of all those who claim to have seen the Gospa everywhere and at any time since 

The verdict of the Bishops' Conference is for me an authoritative instruction, responsive 
and binding unless another kind of verdict is brought. But until now there has been no other 
(ecclesiastical) judgment. If, after serious, solid, and professional investigation, our 
Bishops' Conference had the courage to declare that Medjugorje's apparitions are not 
supernatural, in spite of massive stories and convictions to the contrary, then that is a sign 
that the Church, even in the 20th century "upholds the truth and keeps it safe" (1 Tim. 
3:15). I affirm this unequivocally (my emphasis). 

Further Information 

Jones, E. Michael, The Medjugorje Deception: Queen of Peace, Ethnic Cleansing, Ruined 
Lives; also the video or CD "Visions on Demand", available at or call 

Two devastating critiques can be obtained from Brother James, S.D.B., SS Peter and Paul 
Church, 650 Filbert Street, San Francisco, CA 94133. They are Critique: Medjugorje and 
Brother Thomas, Doubter in Medjugorje . They cost $5 each postpaid. 

Siviric, Dr. I, OFM (a Franciscan born in Medjugorje, and now living in the USA), The 
Hidden Side of Medjugorje, 400 pages, available from Editions Psilog, CP 300, Saint- 
FranQois-du-Lac, Quebec, Canada, JOC JJVIO.